Responding to the prime minister's comments on The Andrew Marr Show about winter pressures, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“The prime minister appears to be in denial about the scale of the pressure facing the NHS. It is astonishing that she claims the NHS was prepared for this winter, when the Government has resorted to cancelling more than 50,000 operations causing misery to patients already having endured long waits for treatment, as well as the reality that 17,000 patients last week were stuck in ambulances queuing outside hospitals waiting to be admitted.
“The Government must acknowledge that the NHS does not currently have the resources nor capacity to meet the needs of patients, and we need an honest debate about the investment and support the NHS needs to deliver safe, high-quality care.
“Politicians must urgently address the need for a long-term plan for the health service. Our NHS remains one of the best health care systems in the world but without action, patients and frontline staff are being condemned to more of the same each winter - longer waiting times, horrendous conditions and in many cases a real risk to patient care.”
Notes to editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.
- - The BMA is calling on the UK government to match or exceed the average spend of other comparable European countries on health and social care. This is an area where the UK has been falling short and has been spending less on health as a proportion of GDP than the average of the 10 leading European countries.