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The NHS is about people before profits, says Andy Burnham MP in Bedford

The NHS must always 'put people before profits', according to Labour MP Andy Burnham.

The shadow secretary of state for health was speaking on Tuesday evening at Harpur Square in Bedford as part of a nationwide march to save the health service.

He said: "The NHS at this moment in time is in the most dangerous position it's been in in its 66 year history.

"I know I've got a huge responsibility now, as a representative of the party that created it, to stand up for it and to ensure we have an NHS that puts people before profits. That's what it was set up to do, that's what it must always do.

"I believe passionately in the public NHS and what it represents. And what it represents is, when anybody walks across its door they are treated for who they are and because of the basis of their need not because of their ability to pay and that must be protected at all costs. Staff give more to the NHS because of that principle - people before profits - and if we lose it we will never get it back."

Crowds gathered in support of the MP as the future of healthcare services in Bedfordshire is under review with potentially drastic cuts for the hospital.

The MP for Leigh also touched on the issues of privatisation of services. In the past year both musculoskeletal care and dermatology services in Bedfordshire have been tendered out to private companies.

Mr Burnham said: "The first line of the NHS constitution is the NHS belongs to the people. The simple thing is politicians haven't listened to people when making changes to the NHS and I would say to you that can't carry on that's what this march is all about. The NHS does belong to the people and nobody in this country has ever given their consent for their NHS to be broken up and sold off and put on this path towards privatisation that we are seeing now and Westminster must wake up to that."

He added: "I bet none of you want to be in a position in a few years time where your children or grand children say 'well what did you do to fight for the nhs?'"

"The fight for the NHS is happening here and its happening now, it's happening right here in Bedford tonight.

The People's March for the NHS arrived in Bedford at 6pm after leaving from Northampton in the morning.

Read the original Bedfordshire on Sunday article at http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/pictures/Andy-Burnham-update/pictures-22869496-detail/pictures.html#AZOjLiUeSbjGXeIj.99
by Rupert Marquand

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