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Longer wait if private ops on NHS; HEALTH.

CONDEM plans to let hospitals carry out limitless private operations could mean a "two-tier" health service, a minister has warned.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has removed the cap on how much private income hospitals can generate from paying patients.

But yesterday, Equalities Minister Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone admitted that could mean longer waiting times for people who cannot afford to pay for treatment as the rich "jump the queue".

She wrote: "Concerns have been raised as to whether this will create a two-tier system of health provision and reversion to longer waiting times with NHS patients jumping the queue."

Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has also criticised the policy.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 3, 2010
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