Co-leader of the National Health Action Party, Dr Clive Peedell has announced live on BBC TV that he’s running against David Cameron in Witney at the General Election.
Dr Peedell was appearing on BBC1′s flagship programme, The Big Questions, when he made this announcement:
"I’m going to stand against David Cameron in Witney on an NHS ticket in the General Election of 2015. If we carry on as the way we are, we’re going to lose our National Health Service, there’s no doubt about that."
The consultant oncologist knows Witney well as he was brought up in Botley in Oxfordshire and his parents still live in the area.
During a heated debate on whether local hospitals should be phased out, Dr Peedell said:
"If you close a local hospital, what happens to the acute asthmatic who has to travel a lot further for treatment? What happens to the choking child? According to the latest study published in the BMJ, the number of hospitals we have compared to other OECD countries is extremely low. We already have too few hospitals and bed occupancy is dangerously high. This isn’t about clinical decisions, this is about finances."
And he went to attack the government’s austerity programme:
"Austerity is damaging the health of the population and decreasing the number of of services, leading to increasing privatisation. It’s outrageous. If you increase spending, it stimulates economic growth. We need to go completely against the austerity agenda.
We need more funding of the health service. People are saying where are you going to get it from? We’re wasting billions of pounds on a health care market. We’ve got this purchaser-provider split with GPs buying care off hospitals. We’ve got a market with patients becoming consumers of health care. That just drives up costs. It’s wasting £10bn a year. We’ve also nationally got huge tax avoidance problems. £70bn a year in tax avoidance. We need HMRC to stop concentrating on the small people, and focus on the big people."
You can see his announcement on The Big Questions here: