BMA responds to Liberal Democrat election manifesto

BMA press release

Location: England UK
Published: Monday 10 June 2024
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Responding to the launch of the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto today, Professor Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said: 

“As we’ve said, any incoming government must make health its number one priority so it’s good to see the Lib Dems putting health and care at the front and centre of their manifesto launch.

“We have waiting lists at record-highs, an increasingly sick population, the loss of almost 2,000 full-time GPs over the last nine years, and crumbling buildings with outdated facilities. There are signs in this manifesto that the Lib Dems do understand some of the huge challenges our health and care system faces and are prepared to rectify the managed decline of our NHS and dismantling of general practice through wanton neglect.

“Their focus on population health and measures to help people live healthier lives is refreshing after repeated failures to take public health threats such as smoking, obesity, air pollution and climate change as seriously as they should. 

“Patients need doctors but we need more detail on how any future government plans to keep the doctors we already have. Restoring pay – and a truly independent pay review system, as hinted at by the Lib Dems - will be crucial to this, alongside the removal of barriers that prevent doctors taking on work, such as restrictive pensions rules.

“Additional funding for NHS buildings, public health services and social care is much-needed, and while the £9bn pledged is a significant amount, it would need to be stretched very widely.

“Investment is absolutely critical; the financial and societal returns are great – this should not be seen as a cost, but a route to economic growth”. 

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

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