Responding to the prime minister announcing his “five long-term decisions” for public finances –reducing debt, cutting tax, backing British business, securing energy and delivering world-class education – Professor Philip Banfield, BMA council chair, said:
“Throughout the year the Prime Minister has continued to emphasise that reducing NHS waiting lists is one of his top priorities, yet today there’s no sign of this in his ‘long-term’ promises. That wouldn’t be so bad if the Government was making progress on his pledge, and waiting lists weren’t in fact growing each month to record new highs, even when there are no strikes.
“Is this finally his admission that he has given up on improving the healthcare system for patients and staff?
“While his focus may be on the economy, there is no national wealth without a healthy workforce – the record 2.6 million people off work with long term sickness is proof of that.
“With so many patients deteriorating while they wait for treatment, huge workforce shortages and three different groups of doctors in dispute with the Government over failures to pay them appropriately for their skills and expertise, ensuring the future of the NHS should be right at the top of his to-do list, not slipping quietly off the bottom.”
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.