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Conservatives to divert NHS resources to deprived areas


Tory leader David Cameron is to pledge to divert NHS resources to deprived areas at the launch of the Conservative manifesto today.

At the start of what could be a five month election campaign, Mr Cameron will attempt to counter the Tory image as the party of the rich.

He will also pledge to give mothers “real choice” over the kind of childbirth and other services they want.

The policy details are to be revealed as Mr Cameron and shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley publish a chapter of the Conservatives’ draft manifesto at an event in London.

The party leader has stressed his personal commitment to the NHS, promising that health budgets will not be subject to the same cuts as other departments.

But Labour insisted that only it can be trusted to protect the healthcare system, claiming the Tories would make fundamental changes that would hit the poor.

At the weekend prime minister Gordon Brown renewed his attack on Mr Cameron’s spending plans, accusing him of proposing an age of “austerity” rather than “aspiration”.

However, the prime minister denied that he was trying to portray Mr Cameron as a “toff”. He told the BBC that his Commons barb that Tory policy had been dreamed up “on the playing fields of Eton” was “a joke”.

Conservative sources have indicated that today’s announcements on the NHS are designed as a direct rebuttal of Labour’s “class war” tactics.

Mr Cameron will say his administration would divert a higher share of NHS resources to boost health in run-down areas. The move is in sharp contrast to the Tories’ manifesto at the 2005 general election, when the party was offering to subsidise those who chose to have their treatment in private hospitals.

There will also be a commitment to introduce “maternity networks”, which would link community based maternity units with more specialist hospital care.


Readers' comments (7)

  • Reading your article about the conservatives pledges i dont hear anything which would make me think of voting for them, or any come to that, I am a prison nurse and now our overtime and weekend have been cut to a bare minimum, we are under threat of being privatised, which we could run the risk of losing paying into our Nhs pensions, i have maximum holidays and sickness, and labour want to give us minimum wage rises, i love my job, but why are we the first to always be hit with low wages, wouldnt it be nice to bring us in line with the police, teachers, etc. Come on all leaders give us something we really want to hear....

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  • I still can't believe the Tories are marketing themselves as the 'party of the NHS'. When has the health service ever prospered under a Conservative government? Like the airbrushed pictures of David Cameron, it is a transparent piece of electioneering that will crumble as soon as they are in power.

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  • Don't make us laugh Dave! The fundamental constitution of the Tory belief is inequality. Even if you by some miracle found yourself to be the only Tory with a modicum of social conscience, you are not your party!

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  • What about the Lib Dems in Powys getting behind an idea for a county council already 31 million in the red to take over the running of the local health authority....I think thats a no brainer but I can see where theyre coming from :they want the NHS to secure their pensions.Or have I got our beloved politicians wrong? arnt they elected and given our trust to run and improve the country not rip off,sell off and run down.

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  • What qualifies as 'deprived areas' to a Conservative? Perhaps no piano at home?

    Huzzah! The Eton boys have returned!

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  • Well, Labour have been saying this for a while, and have signally failed to achieve it! Maybe Cameron will do better? Certainly can't do any worse than the past 13 years of failure to improve the health of the poorest.

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  • I think that its fair to say that inequalities in health will remain one of those political white elephants. Each party promises to end the problem but the simple truth is that the poor are politically disenfranchised in this country. There's simply no votes in it other than coming out with a headline promise.

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