BUDGET RESPONSE: NHS In Critical Condition!
Dr. Julia Reid MEP and UKIP Health Spokesperson called for more money to be made available for the beleaguered NHS. She welcomed the £2.8 billion promised for the NHS by Mr. Hammond but “worried” it may need more.
Analysis in a briefing from the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, based on an assessment of Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projections and historic rates of funding growth shows that the NHS needed £4bn investment in this Budget which leaves a funding gap of 1.2bn this time around. Alarmingly, this problem is projected to get worse and it could reach £20bn by 2022/23.
As Dr Reid points out, “If the Government have money available to double the so-called ‘divorce bill’ from £20bn to £40bn, which we have absolutely no obligation to pay” you’d think they could find the extra money needed a year to fund our own National Health Service “which is on the brink of collapse.” The funding provided in-fact represents half of that which hospital leaders argue is necessary.
Dr. Reid added:
“I’m also disappointed in the Chancellor’s choice of words during the budget because he claimed that NHS staff were facing ‘the challenges of an aging population’, whilst failing to address the pressures that immigration has put onto the NHS.
In fact, Britain’s elderly were neglected by the Budget. The Chancellor has faced widespread criticism for his failure to provide any additional funding for the crisis-hit social care system in the Budget. Caroline Abrahams, Director of Age UK, slammed it’s “short-sightedness”:
“The Budget’s failure to acknowledge the enormous problems facing social care is desperately short-sighted and can only result in the numbers of older people going without the care they need ratcheting up.”
The sustainability of the National Health Service, which is a national treasure, is one of the major challenges we all face. Developing policies to meet this challenge will go a long way to determining how well UKIP can reconnect with voters.