On the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the NHS under a Labour Government, Labour is warning that four more years of Tory rule will push the NHS to the brink and have released a dossier highlighting 8 years of Tory failure on the NHS.
And after the worst winter on record, Labour are today publishing new figures showing how much worse things could get by the end of this Parliament if the Tory decline continues. At the current rate of decline, by the end of this Parliament there will be:
- 700,000 more people on waiting lists
- Over one million more people waiting longer than four hours in A&E; almost 3.8 million people by 2022
- Over 230,000 more people spending more than four hours waiting on a trolley for a bed.
- 9,600 more people waiting over two months for their first cancer treatment.
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, speaking ahead of the NHS 70th Anniversary, said:
“The NHS remains Labour’s greatest ever achievement, the most powerful engine for social justice we have ever seen and one of our most cherished institutions.
“Every day, our NHS effects every one of us in ways no statistics will ever capture the joy and love when a baby is delivered into the world, the relief and thanks when illness cured, the comfort when our loved ones are tended to in their final moments. Every minute of every day our NHS demonstrates sheer compassion in action.
“On the 70 anniversary I want to thank all our NHS staff for their skills, professionalism and dedication. Every day going the extra mile to care for other. They have the appreciation and gratitude of each and every one of us.
“Of course the creation of our NHS was neither inevitable nor uncontroversial. The Tories voted against it over 20 times in Parliament and the Tory health spokesperson said of the NHS Bill “we are taking a step from which there will be no going back. I believe it would be a fatal step”. Bizarrely a Tory opponent in the Lords even suggested its creation ‘may lead to civil war’!
“Now under the Tories the NHS is being run down, with our new analysis showing waiting lists could rise by 700,000 by the end of the Parliament, with an extra million people waiting too long in A&E. Across the NHS there are 100,000 staff vacancies operations delayed, treatments rationed, services cut back, a £5 billion backlog of repairs and £9 billion worth of contracts are handed to private providers.
“And Theresa May’s promises on funding will mean nothing to patients until she says clearly which taxes are going to rise to pay for it. What’s more the Tory failure to properly resource public health budgets, training budgets and crucially social care budgets mean Tory claims of a long term plan are hollow. Patients will fear that it’s the same old Tories, failing to support our NHS just as they did 70 years ago.
“So today we remember the millions of lives bettered and lengthened by our NHS service and Labour pledges to always stand up for our NHS and protect the service for generations to come.”