ROSIE Cooper MP has joined forces with Health Secretary Alan Johnson to thank National Health Service workers in the week the NHS turns 60.
Saturday, July 5, marks 60 years since the NHS was established by a Labour Government.
Its fundamental principle was access to health care for all, regardless of the ability to pay. More than half a century later and its core values remain the same.
Rosie, Labour MP for West Lancashire, said: “"One of the main reasons I wanted to be the MP for West Lancashire was to fight for the NHS in our area.
“Soon after I was elected, I successfully campaigned to stop the merger of Ormskirk and Southport hospitals, and later this year an Urgent Care Centre is due to open at Ormskirk.
“Sadly some dentists in this area unexpectedly removed NHS paitents from their lists but I am working with the Primary Care Trust to ensure that as soon as possible everyone who wants an NHS dentist will have access to one.
“New NHS dentists will operate out of Ormskirk Hospital, with more to follow allowing those currently forced on to Denplan to return to NHS care as quickly as possible.
“I believe the National Health Service is one of our country's greatest achievements. A service that is available to all based on need - not ability to pay.
“A lot of people in West Lancashire remember the NHS prior to 1997. By that point, 18 years of Tory government had brought the NHS to its knees.
“Since 1997, Labour’s investment in the NHS nationally has trebled to £100 billion. This has paid for 38,000 more doctors, 80,000 more nurses, over 100 new hospitals, new community health centres and the shortest waiting times since records began.
"On 5 July we should celebrate the NHS and also take time to say thank you to the wonderful staff who look after us when we need care and attention.”