Tories unite in pledge for the future of healthcare

SUFFOLK: The two new Tory MPs for Ipswich have today pledged to fight hard to secure the best health care for the county.

Ben Gummer, Ipswich Central’s new MP, and Dr Dan Poulter, the newly elected MP for Ipswich North and Central Suffolk, share common goals in ensuring the town gets specialist heart care treatment, and achieving a top quality out-of-hours service.

The politicians’ key issues are reflected by The Evening Star in our fight for the best health care. Our campaign, Health Watch, seeks to keep an eye on health bodies to ensure patients get the best deal.

Like Mr Gummer and Dr Poulter, we have also been calling for a specialist heart care centre to be set up in Ipswich for planned and emergency angioplasty (a procedure to widen the arteries) through our Have a Heart appeal.

Mr Gummer said: “We want to continue and step up the fight to protect specialist services at Ipswich Hospital. I will do everything I can to help the hospital in the final stages of its Foundation Trust bid and to realise the amazing talent of the many staff at the hospital.

“The Conservatives pledge is to increase funding [in the NHS] in real terms. Whatever happens [with the hung Parliament] it’s my job to make sure that the unfair level of funding for health care, education and transport is revised so we can get a fair share of the cake.

“We got a partial victory in heart care and it is my job that we get an elective angioplasty centre and an emergency centre.”

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He also said he was planning to talk to shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley about reviewing the out-of-hours system.

Dr Poulter said: “The first thing I want to do is get together with all the other Suffolk MPs and try to work as a team.

“I want to make sure we fight for quality cardiac services in Ipswich and stop services going elsewhere. We want to fight to make sure Ipswich Hospital is maintained as a premiere hospital in Suffolk.”

On the out-of-hours care system, he said: “I think the service is not fit for purpose. We have got to look at sorting that out and putting patients back at the centre of the process.”

He said his other health care priority will be to look after the community hospitals in the region, including Hartismere and Felixstowe, to ensure they are not lost.

He added: “I can provide the medical knowledge and background and together [the other MPs in Suffolk] we can provide a strong, concerted voice. We have got to make sure Suffolk does not continually lose out in health care.”

n What health care issues do you think the new MPs should tackle? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk