BMA responds to Reform UK’s election ‘contract’

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Monday 17 June 2024
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Responding to the launch of Reform UK’s election ‘contract’, BMA council chair Professor Philip Banfield said:

“There are highly ambitious goals in this manifesto to clear the NHS backlog, but scant detail about delivery and nothing about protecting the population’s health or preventing people getting ill – which is key to both easing the strain on NHS services and boosting the economy.

Large questions remain about the claimed costs and savings behind some of Reform’s proposals.

“Of course we want to get NHS waiting lists down, but at a near-record 7.7m procedures outstanding, we must be realistic and not falsely raise patients’ hopes. To abolish NHS waits, you need to invest in rebuilding the NHS, not overpromise the private sector or mass outsourcing overseas as some kind of panacea.

“You cannot just mandate operating theatres to stay open at weekends without detailing how they’ll be staffed or guaranteeing that doctors will not be hit with excessive pension tax bills for working extra.

“When it comes to immigration, our health and care sectors are heavily dependent on our greatly valued international colleagues. This doesn’t just mean doctors and nurses, but porters, care workers, cleaners, catering staff… the list goes on. Therefore, it would be difficult to see how health and care services would not be impacted adversely by far-reaching plans to cut migration.”

Ends

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.