Vote or Die

An extraordinary story in today’s Times. Iain Dale has picked it up with an interesting comments thread. Frankly I wouldn’t care which party was in Government – if it’s trur then this kind of use of public resource management for partisan electoral purposes is shocking.

COMMUNITY hospitals that lie in Conservative or Liberal Democrat constituencies will bear the brunt of the Government’s closure programme, re-igniting accusations of political interference in the NHS.

The Times has learnt that seven times as many community hospitals have closed or are under threat in constituencies held by opposition MPs. There are 62 closed or at-risk hospitals in Conservative constituencies and 8 in Liberal Democrats seats, with 11 in Labour areas…

The revelation comes a month after The Times disclosed that ministers and Labour Party officials held meetings to work out ways of closing hospitals without jeopardising key marginal seats. Leaked e-mails showed that Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, called for those at the meeting to be provided with “heat maps”, showing marginal Labour seats where closures or reconfigurations of health services could cost votes.

Words simply fail me that any party would be so callous as to manipulate hospital closures in this way. I do so hope that it’s all just a big misunderstanding.

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