Dr Blogs

New government must work cooperatively to address crisis in NHS

On a day where figures show that more patients are waiting longer for treatment, it is clear that the next government must make the NHS a priority and that politicians of all parties will have to work together to achieve this.

While the NHS remains one of the best healthcare systems in the world, years of under-investment in the face of rising patient demand and need has left it at breaking point.

With Brexit negotiations starting in a matter of days, securing the future of EU workers in the NHS is vitally important to protect NHS services and end uncertainty for thousands of NHS staff.

So too is protecting the future of patient care in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following Brexit, by ensuring that a ‘soft’ border is maintained.

As we saw during the election campaign, people care deeply about the future of health and social care in this country. Yet Conservative funding plans for the NHS fall far short of what is needed.

The question for this government is whether it will preside over a further decline in the NHS, or if it has the courage and the political will to provide the funding and staffing needed to ensure its survival.

The government must ensure that NHS funding keeps pace with other European nations, that EU doctors in the UK are protected from the impact of Brexit, that general practice is properly supported, that policies which protect and enhance the public’s health are implemented and that the pressures which affect the day-to-day delivery of high quality patient care are tackled.

There are difficult decisions ahead and doctors need to play a central role in shaping the future of the health service.

Above all, the NHS needs an end to the short-termism that has plagued the delivery of health care for too long and a government that will agree a long-term, credible plan to deliver the fully funded and supported NHS that staff want and patients deserve.

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