On its 75th birthday the NHS remains as important as ever to all of us.
Our fantastic NHS staff treat more than a million people a day, dispense almost a billion prescriptions a year, and kept us safe throughout the Covid pandemic by administering more than 150 million vaccines.
I count myself amongst the majority of people who say the NHS makes them proud to be British.
But sadly, despite this, every area of the NHS is under strain and it is in such a state that many fear for its survival.
People are struggling to get an appointment with their GP, loved ones wait in pain for hours for an ambulance, and those that cannot afford it are now often forced to turn to DIY dentistry.
Let’s be clear though, this isn’t due to strikes or inefficiency as the Conservatives might want us to believe, or a fundamental issue with the NHS’s founding principles, but the symptoms of years of mismanagement and incompetence from this Conservative Government.
They have overseen the NHS almost with a lack of interest, and even when they do kick into gear, they bring forward short-term sticking plasters or schemes that are either too late or completely ineffectual.
High-quality healthcare, free at the point of use, is essential for individual freedom and good health gives people the freedom to live the lives they choose. And that’s why as Liberals we have always championed the NHS.
We were there at its founding, and helped forge this national institution on the proposals set out in the Beveridge report in 1942.
And we’re here now still fighting for those values across the country.
The next election will give us a real chance to show the country what the Conservative’s dereliction of duty means for their health, and what our plans are to do something about it.
The Liberal Democrats are proud to be champions of the NHS and we will always fight to ensure that the care everyone receives is based on their need, not their ability to pay.