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Top doctors back Conservatives

HEALTH chiefs today come out for David Cameron, declaring the Tories are the true party of the NHS.

Some 25 top docs have put their names to a letter backing Cam's health plans.

They say the Tories, not Labour, will deliver the changes needed to improve the health service for everyone.

And in another Tory endorsement 110 leading entrepreneurs have warned of the dangers of a Lib-Lab coalition.

The docs’ letter is headed by Dr David Kerr - one of the architects of Labour's NHS reforms - who has agreed to be a key adviser to the Tories.

Professor Kerr was a lifelong Labour supporter who campaigned with Tony Blair at the 2001 election and led Labour efforts to cut waiting and give hospitals greater freedom. But he says Labour has "lost the plot" and the Tories now offer the best chance for the NHS.

Also backing the Tories is cardiologist Duncan Dymond. The doc put his name to a 1997 letter backing Labour, but has now switched sides.

Other backers include:

Sir Bernard Ribeiro - former president of the Royal College of Surgeons
Dr Jonathan Steel - chairman of the GP committee at the Royal College of Physicians
Renowned cancer expert Professor Mike Bailey - head of the country's largest international centre of excellence for minimal invasive surgery
Dr Bashir Qureshi - Vice President Emeritus of the The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health.

The list also included three docs who are standing for the Tories in the election.

Their letter states: “As clinicians who work in the NHS and believe wholeheartedly in the principle of free healthcare for all we are delighted that the NHS would be a Conservative Government’s number one priority.

“We support Conservative plans to increase spending on the NHS every year; to scrap targets and bureaucracy; to focus on getting more money to the frontline; and to provide cancer drugs to all who need them.

“For these reasons the Conservative Party is now truly the party of the NHS. The Conservatives, not the Labour Party, will deliver the changes we need to improve the NHS for everyone. That is why we will be voting Conservative on May 6th."

The endorsement is a major coup for Cameron, with the NHS traditionally being strong ground for Labour.

Cam has gone to great lengths to convince voters the NHS would be safe in his hands after Tory Euro MP Dan Hannan last year branded it a “60-year mistake” and said he “wouldn’t wish it on anyone”.

The Tories have pledged to increase health spending in real terms every year to 2015 and replace “process” targets such as maximum times before seeing a cancer specialist, with “outcome” targets such as the number of people dying from cancer.

They also want to make all hospitals foundation trusts, link docs’ pay to results, cut admin costs by a third, end mixed-sex wards and give one million more people access to an NHS dentist.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley welcomed the endorsement. He said: "Over the last few years I have got to know people across the NHS. I trust them and they increasingly trust us to look after the NHS and improve it.

“I know that if we give the doctors and the nurses in the NHS the necessary resources, freedom and responsibility they can deliver high quality healthcare for patients. I, like our brilliant NHS staff, want the NHS to be the best in the world - only a vote for the Conservatives will make that ambition a reality."
It is just the latest group of experts to back the Tories.

Last week dozens of entrepreneurs put their names to a letter warning a Lib-Lab coalition would be a disaster for Britain.

Another 55 have now joined them including global CEO Simon Calver.

Signatory Rob Lewis, chairman of Omnifone, said: “Already entrepreneurs don’t feel welcome in a country run by Mr Brown. We are shockingly concerned about the Lib Dems. Their policies come from the Ladybird book of economics where there is just one country in the world.”

Twenty senior economists backed Tory calls to cut public spending this year.

And leading state head teachers have publicly backed their plans to allow schools to break free of local authority control.

Docs backing the Tories:
Professor David Kerr
Mr James Brown FRCS(GS) MSc MBBS
Sophia Frangou, MD. PhD, FRCPsych
Dr S E Josse. (Consultant in Clinical Forensic Medicine).
Dr Nicholas Woodthorpe
Dr. Cornel Fleming
Dr Richard Bogle
Dr Michelle Tempest
Dr Jonathan Steel MB ChB MRCGP FRCP Chairman of the GP committee at the Royal College of Physicians
Dr Bashir Qureshi
Dr Lucy Cunningham MRCGP MRCS MBBS
Dr Sarah Wollaston
Dr Rachel Joyce
Dr Daniel Poulter
Dr Shazia Ovaisi MRCP MRCGP
Dr Ian Chandler
Dr Peter Briggs
Dr Constantinos-Dellaportas
Dr Emlyn Williams Consultant Physician University Hospital Aintree
Eoghan R.T.C. Owen Senior Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon Surrey & Sussex NHS Trust
Professor Mike Bailey
Jim Thornton, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr Andrew Hardie
Sir Bernard Ribeiro CBE
Professor Mike Bailey



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