The tabloids like to tell us “the NHS is broken” and that the burgeoning waiting times in A&E, and the shortage of hospital beds, are caused by health tourism and feckless people who can’t be bothered to go to their GP. Whatever this Tory Government and the media say, however, the quality and cost effectiveness of the NHS is still considered by respected research organisations, such as the King’s Fund, to be the world’s best rich-country health system.
How long can this last, though, when the Government refuses to fund the NHS in line with inflation, population growth and the additional cost of new, expensive procedures? The stronger economies in the EU fund their health services 2-3% above ours – and the gap is growing. In a comparison of the number of hospital beds, our NHS had 5.5 fewer per 1,000 people than Germany. In addition, we are fast losing our GPs, hospital doctors and nurses because of overwork and the Government’s refusal to fund adequate training and facilities.
Islington residents know how important the NHS is to their quality of life. At the last Campaign Day in November, in a few hours Islington Labour members gathered 1,000 signatures (more than 650 in Islington South) for the petition asking Theresa May for extra funds.
The NHS is vital for our nation. Tell the Government to stop wasting money on privatisation and re-organisations; give it the funds it needs.
By Vivien Cutler, St Peter’s ward