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Britain's Cameron pledges to make support for health services his key policy

Britain's Cameron pledges to make support for health services his key policy

Opposition Conservative leader David Cameron was expected to pledge Wednesday to put help for Britain's national health service at the heart of his future election platform, telling delegates his conviction is built on his family's personal experiences.
The 39-year-old, a father of three, planned to close his party's annual conference with a speech setting out his intention to continue high levels of funding to doctors and hospitals, according to excerpts released in advance by party officials.
"When your family relies on the NHS (National Health Service) all the time _ day after day, night after night _ you know how precious it is," Cameron said in the prepared remarks. Cameron's 4-year-old son Ivan has a rare condition combining cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and requiring 24-hour medical care, party officials said.
"We will never jeopardize the NHS by cutting its funding, but we will make sure the money is well spent," Cameron planned to say, according to the excerpts.
The leader planned to attack Prime Minister Tony Blair's handling of health spending, saying that despite record levels of funding, billions had been wasted on poorly performing computer systems and unnecessary increases in management.
He planned to say there would be "no more pointless and disruptive reorganizations."
Cameron was also expected to reject calls to commit to tax cuts from restive right-wing elements of his party, who have used the four-day conference to question the leader's move to political center ground.
Some stalwarts have accused Cameron, appointed leader last December, of abandoning key party commitments to low taxes, small government and skepticism of European integration in his attempt to woo moderate voters.
Critics have also accused the leader of failing to outline a clear set of legislative ideas, saying he has prioritized presentational gimmicks _ such as changing the party's logo _ ahead of policy.
Cameron has said he will await the findings of a series of internal review groups before setting out in detail his manifesto to defeat governing Labour in a national election expected in 2009.
"Substance is not about a 10-point plan, it is about deeper things than that," Cameron says in his closing speech. "It is about taking time to think things through, not trotting out easy answers."


Updated : 2021-04-14 08:57 GMT+08:00