Tony Blair has said that the NHS is “not serving its purpose” in an exclusive interview with Sky News.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the former PM didn’t mince his words when addressing the current state of the UK’s health service.
Asked if he thought the NHS was providing a good standard of service, Mr Blair replied: “No, at the moment. In some respects the staff do a great job in difficult circumstances.
“And I think the general experience of people is if you’re in really acute difficulty, then then it still does provide very good care.
“But a lot of the waiting lists are terrible, COVID, of course, has made it a lot worse.
“The truth is, you’re not going to have a lot more money to spend, but you do have to think how do we do things completely differently.”
He went on to say that he felt there should be more private sector involvement in the NHS, saying there should be “complete cooperation between the public and private sector”.
Mr Blair said: “The problem always with the public sector, and this is what I learned in government, is the tough thing is to get it to innovate.
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“Because in the private sector, if you don’t innovate, you go out of business, but it doesn’t happen in the public sector.”
He added that “private” shouldn’t be considered a “dirty word” and went on to say that the NHS, in its current state, was not serving its purpose, despite employing more people than ever before.
The former prime minister said: “The NHS is a great institution and we should keep its principles. But the truth? I mean, you don’t have to be a genius to look at it and say it’s not, it’s not serving its purpose.”
The full interview with Tony Blair will be on the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme on Sky News from 8.30am this morning.