Your anonymous letter writer (letters September 1) asks if our MPs and MEPs agree with the views of Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan when he spoke about the NHS on US television.

As a Parliamentary Candidate who has spent my life working in the NHS I am happy to tell your readers that Daniel Hannan’s statement was about as far from the truth as it is possible to be. His statement about GPs pay was nonsense and his assertion that the United Kingdom had the worst cancer survival statistics is completely wrong. Cancer survival in the UK has improved rapidly in the last few years. For example the five year survival for cancer of the prostate has more than doubled. Britain is in the mid-range for cancer survival among European countries, though it is difficult to compare all countries, as not all keep as good records as the UK cancer registry.

The NHS is by no means perfect, and privatisation is causing real damage.  Despite assurances from Gordon Brown and David Cameron both Labour and Conservatives are taking us down the American path of privatisation. Such a policy seems quite inexplicable. The British NHS provides a good service, and extraordinarily good value for money.  The USA spends more than twice as much per person on healthcare as the UK but there are still 50 million US citizens with no healthcare insurance.


Dr Charles West
Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats
3 Bellstone,
tel:   07775 800744

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