Prime Minister David Cameron was battling a bout of 'flu' as he delivered his first major speech following his election victory at a Birmingham health centre.
The Conservative PM, looking weary with bags under his eyes, apologised for his "croaky voice" as he delivered his plans for a seven-day NHS and confirmed his commitment to spending an extra £8 billion a year on the service.
Speaking at the Enki Medical Centre in Terrace Road, Handsworth, he stressed he was not asking staff to work seven days but was planning to use revised shift patterns and extra recruitment to keep GP surgeries and hospitals open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
GP surgeries, such as the centre which hosted the visit, would be at the forefront of seven-day working, he said.
Mr Cameron said he wanted to "put the record straight loud and clear" after a "lot of rubbish" was said about his plans during the campaign.
He stated the "accusation" which hurt him the most was when people said the NHS would not be safe in the Tories' hands.
"The founding values of the NHS are my values. The NHS will always be free for everyone under a Conservative Government," he told the meeting.
Asked if he could deliver efficiency savings and seven-day working while asking staff to work more unsociable hours, the Prime Minister cited the success of Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester.
Mr Cameron said: "The scanners are working at the weekend, the MRIs are working at the weekend...everything is working at the weekend.
"And as a result, actually, they've been able to reduce their costs and provide a better service. Will it be easy to achieve? Of course not. Will it require a lot of hard work to put it in place? Yes, it will.
"But it's definitely the right ambition and people shouldn't automatically assume that working something on a seven-day-a-week basis means it's more expensive.
"After all, huge amounts of taxpayers' money have been put into the CAT scanners and the MRI scanners and doesn't it make sense to ensure they are being used on a whole-week basis?"
Commenting on the proposal, Royal College of Nursing chief executive Dr Peter Carter warned any attacks on unsocial hours, weekend working payments, would be strongly resisted.
"The membership is quite clear: unsocial hours, weekend working, Christmas Day and bank holidays - they get a very modest higher level of remuneration. Any attack on that and I do fear it would result in industrial action," he warned.