As you may know, I owe my life to the NHS - without the speedy intervention, surgery and chemotherapy I received, I would not be here now, my children would be without their mother and my husband would be without his wife.
This is why I support Labour's Cancer Guarantee. It is vital to ensure that as many people as possible can fight cancer and beat it. Early detection gives the best chance of this and is an essential part of the process. Any cancer patient will tell you, the worst part is waiting, knowing there is something wrong but not knowing whether you have a life-threatening disease and worrying about the future for your children and family. The Cancer Guarantee means that this time is cut to a minimum, with a guarantee of test results within a week.
Tory front-bencher Philip Hammond claimed that the Conservatives also support the guarantee but this is in complete contradiction to the Conservative pledge to abolish government-imposed targets. Making a pie-crust promise is not what is needed in the fight against cancer, patient care demands targets for the detection and treatment of this cruel and indiscriminate disease. Labour have made it a legal right for a patient with suspected cancer, to be given a specialist referral within two-weeks. At the same time, it became a legal right to receive hospital treatment within eighteen-weeks of referral from a GP. Waiting times have fallen across the country, (you can check your local area here) and it is a fact that without this guarantee of fast referral, early testing and quick results, fewer of the women I met on my cancer journey would have survived.
Yet again this demonstrates which party can be trusted with our National Health Service - a service that Labour had to rebuild after 18-years of Tory abuse, of ward closures, neglected hospital facilities and a crumbling infrastructure. Time and time again, the likes of Dan Hannan show the Conservative Party's true colours; the reality behind Cameron's 'party-of-the-people' facade. The simple truth is that the Tories cannot be trusted to protect the NHS and ensure it continues to provide healthcare to all, irrespective of wealth or ability to pay: free at the point of need.
We should all be able to take the right to survive for granted. Make sure that we keep the Cancer Guarantee and ensure that more cancer patients are able to survive and watch their families grow.
I am here for my family because I could rely on the NHS to put my care first. You can too, let's make sure it stays that way. I urge you to please, tell as many people as possible about Labour's Cancer Guarantee.
This was originally posted at House of Twits on 26 April 2010.