Mr Burnham criticised the government’s plans for NHS reform arguing its priority instead should be to meet the financial challenge.
He said the planned reorganisations are ‘unnecessary and dangerous’ and will ‘unpick the very fabric of our previous NHS’. He called for people to ‘act now’ to defend the NHS.
Mr Burnham said: ‘This unnecessary reorganisation will distract attention, reduce motivation and, scandalously, cost up to £3bn – money that could be spent on patient care.
‘The NHS is working. It was recently judged the second best health service in the world and top on efficiency. Now, the coalition government is putting all this at risk. It is a reckless £80 billion gamble with all of the progress made in the last decade.’