Anne Marie Waters 

January 10th 2020


I have family in the Irish Republic, which doesn’t have an NHS. I know of countless cases, including in my own wider family, of people deciding not to go to the doctor because they are stuck in the middle: they’re not poor enough to qualify for state help, and they’re not well off enough to afford the kind of health insurance they may need. I’ve known of cases, reported in the media there, of people suffering with cancer or other serious illnesses, receiving letters from the debt collector whilst they are in the midst of their treatment.

We have no idea how lucky we are.

I don’t want to see the UK return to the society it was prior to the NHS. It was always the poorest who suffered most. In countries run on private health insurance only, people often can’t afford the premiums, or they do pay them dutifully, only to find their particular illness “isn’t covered”. Either way, it places an enormous strain on those who can least afford to bear it.

The NHS was created so that people no longer had to carry the burden of healthcare bills. It was provided to all who needed it and was funded by taxation. Healthcare is something we are all going to need, and it is something therefore many people would happily pay taxes for – provided those taxes aren’t wasted. But so much of them are, and governments won’t talk about it.

Waste is endemic in the health service. Report after report confirms that billions of taxpayers’ pounds are poured down the drain by unaccountable managers every year. Procurement costs make absolutely no sense, with hospital purchasing products at way above the market price, and health service management spending billions on “management consultants” to tell them how to do their jobs. It must end.

“Health tourism” (coming to the UK just to use the health service) costs the NHS around £2 billion per year, while people must pay extortionate parking charges to visit sick relatives.

Major private companies are furthermore making a fortune with NHS contracts. The service has seen no improvement, despite millions of public pounds being paid in to already wealthy pockets. Some MPs and members of the Lords are known to be voting on proposals to extend private entry to the NHS market, while themselves making profits from these sales. This is a recipe for corruption and I don’t believe the majority of British people would be happy with MPs profiting from our NHS taxes.

For Britain knows that things must change, but throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to solve it. We need new and accountable management, we need to target waste, we need to stop health tourism, and we must use public funds in the best interests of the public.

Hospitals are saddled with enormous debts, so finances must therefore alter in the future. Training of new nurses and doctors should be prioritised because we cannot continue to open our borders to more and more people to staff our services.

The NHS can’t continue to be a bottomless money pit. If it does, we will lose it. Only by genuine reform and spending re-prioritisation can we have our NHS.

For Britain can, and we will.


Anne Marie Waters


For Britain

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