Andy Burnham has criticised Conservative plans for the NHS if they won the next general election by saying the health service would become the ‘biggest quango in the world’.
The health secretary continued to put the squeeze on the Tories over the NHS after MEP Daniel Hannan’s appearance on US television saying he would not wish the 60 year old institution on anybody.
In the face of public outcry, David Cameron was forced to dismiss Mr Hannan’s views as “eccentric” and stress the Conservatives are united in support for the NHS.
But writing in the Guardian, Mr Burnham said: “If you dig beneath the bland protestations of love, there is a genuine philosophical difference on the NHS between the political parties.”
Mr Burnham said the Tories would disregard Labour’s flagship targets: for all patients to have treatment within 18 weeks of a GP referral; a four-hour limit on waiting times in accident and emergency and a promise to have people with cancer seen by a specialist within two weeks.
He said Labour was committed to NHS reform and that in September he would reveal a plan to make former health minister Lord Darzi’s vision of a health service “based on quality and prevention” a reality.