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Sajid Javid recommended the public to try their families and communities before seeking help from the state – and people couldn’t believe it.
Speaking on Tuesday during the Conservative Party conference, the health and social care secretary said: “The state was needed in this pandemic more than any time in peacetime.
“But government shouldn’t own all risks and responsibilities in life. We as citizens have to take some responsibility for our health too.
“We shouldn’t always go first to the state. What kind of society would that be?
“Health – and social care – begins at home. Family first, then community, then the state.
“If you do need support…we live in a compassionate, developed country that can afford to help with that.”
Many Twitter accounts tore into the health secretary for his poor advice, pointing out that most relatives are not trained medical professionals who can treat the ill.
Labour MP Jess Phillips was one of many who put her criticism online when she tweeted: “I assume Sajid Javid and the prime minister left their jobs to care for their families who needed care.
“Caring for my dying mother while having two small kids and a full time job was basically impossible. Oh they didn’t mean people like them.”
Listen to Sajid Javid explain that the state is, apparently, not responsible for health and social care.
If you're one of the 5.6m people on the NHS waiting list, you should try to get a hip replacement from an aunt, cousin or a neighbour. THEN you can try the gov't. 😱 #CPC21pic.twitter.com/0WJ6IRTD0Z
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) October 5, 2021
I assume Sajid Javid and the Prime Minister left their jobs to care for their families who needed care. Caring for my dying mother while having two small kids and a full time job was basically impossible. Oh they didn't mean people like them. https://t.co/xkAokbVB5q
— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) October 6, 2021
This isn’t ‘fixing’ social care. pic.twitter.com/hw4ypSx3My
— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) October 6, 2021
The more I’ve thought about Sajid Javid’s comments about families doing more as carers, the unhappier I feel. He’s been able to pursue his career, I gave up any hopes of mine to care for disabled family members. Let’s be honest he means women because we do the most of the caring
— Nicky Clark (@MrsNickyClark) October 6, 2021
What sort of “part-time” interventionist state is this?
The irony of a Conservative Nanny State operating seemingly on a zero hours contract is not lost on me! 👀🤣🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/09z0FvOFLY
— Funk Butcher (@FunkButcher) October 6, 2021
So between the extra jobs to make ends meet, queueing for fuel, finding the extra money for utility bill I now need to
See if my sister or mate can do that knee op I've been waiting for? https://t.co/zdES60yWFR
— chis doodar (@chisdoodar) October 6, 2021
What about people who live on their own?
What about people with no family?
What about the entire working population who pay taxes to fund a NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE which everyone should be entitled to?
Wastemen the lot of them, I hate them https://t.co/Qyuy5W3y2Z
— Luke (@LukeMarley23) October 6, 2021
Health and social care, it begins at home?
Then why are we paying tax and national insurance? For whom exactly it is suppose to be?
Sajid Javid saying that is not ok to rely on the state but the state must rely on its people tax? https://t.co/OESusNjlOy
— Brutal Echo (@BrutalEcho) October 6, 2021
someone genuinely needs to do this with Sajid Javid pic.twitter.com/qMvJ7yT4fO
— nicole eloise 🐩 | sick but spooky 💀🎃👻 (@nicoleloiseee) October 6, 2021
After 100 days in the role, Javid’s claims align with the traditional Conservative ideology that the state should not always intervene.
The government has unveiled several controversial measures to try and ease the NHS backlog induced by the pandemic, including a hefty 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions.
Downing Street also promised that nobody will have to pay more than £86,000 in social care bills in their lifetimes, but this pay restriction does not start until October 2023.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.