Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield has warned the city will never realise its dream of a new hospital if the government does not provide the cash for it.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, she blamed Conservative government “cuts” for spreading “chaos and sadness” amid local health services.
Developer Mark Quinn has offered to build the shell of a new hospital in Canterbury as part of a major planning proposal for the south of the city which includes 2,000 homes.
But Ms Duffield said it would not happen unless money is made available to properly equip it.
She told Parliament: “In Canterbury at a once thriving hospital, rooms can now be found stacked with old equipment while services that were once removed temporarily look never to be returned
“While proposals are afoot for a new hospital, it won’t be built if the central government funding isn’t there to fill it.
“I’m the only Labour MP in Kent and as such I’m proud to stand up and make a noise against these Conservative cuts that have caused these vital hospital services to disappear here in my county in recent years.”
Earlier this year, Canterbury’s two universities announced that they would begin to develop plans for a new medical school in the city.
Ms Duffield said the school would help drive the change needed, but added that more needed to be done.
She went on: “Currently, if you’re sick in my constituency, you have to travel a long way to Ashford or Margate to get the emergency care that you need.
“Combine an under-funded NHS with a South East Coast Ambulance Trust in special measures and you have the ingredients for chaos and a lot of sadness.
“That’s apparent in all the letters I receive from constituents about the NHS, week in and week out – chaos and sadness.”
Afterwards, Ms Duffield said “so sad that the Conservative benches were almost empty”.