Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson raised the experience of a Maghull man who had a four day delay after suffering a suspected heart attack to highlight the dangers of the Tory-Lib Dem government NHS reforms during Prime Minister Questions today.
The Labour MP told David Cameron that 72-year-old Eddie Kay from Highgate Road suffered a suspected heart attack on April 5. He was rushed to Fazakerley Hospital where he had to wait for four days before a bed was available in the ward where he could have a lifesaving operation to have a stent fitted into his artery.
He was told four beds had already been closed in the ward and a further four were due to be closed. And on top of that three nurses were scheduled to go.
Speaking in the Commons, Bill Esterson told the Prime Minister: "Eddie Kay from Maghull received excellent treatment when he was in hospital recently, and I am glad to say that he is recovering well. However, while he was in hospital his operation was cancelled four times, and he was also told of bed closures and nursing redundancies on his ward. Does not Mr Kay’s experience show that the Prime Minister was wrong to claim that he would not cut the NHS?"
Bill Esterson said it was important that the Prime Mininister was made aware when his policies were having a direct impact on front line services.
Bill said: "Eddie is a very fit man and we are just pleased that he is making a recovery despite the delay. Others who are not so fit may not be so lucky.
"The Tories and Lib Dems promised us that frontline services in the NHS would not be cut - but yet again they have broken their promises and betrayed the electorate because we are seeing beds being closed and nurses being made redundant. That was the reason Eddie had to wait for his operaton and why other people will find themselves in the same boat in future months and years as the government drains funding to our NHS and more beds are closed and more nurses are made redundant.
"They are the frontline services and that will have a direct impact on the level of care patients receive.
"As well as raising it with the Prime Minister, I have written to the chief executive of University Hopsital Aintree to highlight the concerns raised by Eddie and to also ask from him for reassurances that frontline services are not being affected by funding cuts.
"What we have seen during Eddie's case is just the beginning. The Tory-Lib Dem NHS reforms will see services privatised and a return to the days before Labour founded the NHS in 1948 when people had to make real decisions about seeing the doctor or buying food.
"We cannot allow this Tory-Lib Dem administration to send us back to the bad old days.
"But all the signs are there that that is exactly what they are doing. This is highlighted by Sefton NHS staff being sent to America for advice on how to run the health service. America is the last place we should be looking to for best practice. The United States is a country where you only get health care if you can afford it. My fear is this is where we are heading."
Eddie said he wouldn't want anyone to go through what he went through.
He said: "It was obviously a very anxious time for me. The wait didn't help the situation, but I must say the staff themselves were fantastic.
"My experience is a prime example of how the service is not being sufficiently funded. I had to wait to get onto the ward where I could have the operation because there was a shortage of beds - beds they had closed shortly before. And what's more they were planning to close even more and get rid of some of the nurses.
"I go to the gym three times a week, I swim and walk every day. So it did come as a shock to find out that I do have a health problem.
"It is very concerning how this Tory-Lib Dem government is working to 'reform' the NHS. Reforms which will see parts of the NHS sold off to the highest bidder and where we will end up with a health service in which only the very wealthy will be able to afford health care.
"For everyone else, we will see the return of the poor man's clinic. I remember my mum having to pay for medicine when I was a child.
"We can't return to that."