Hospital Dr News

Campaign calls on MPs to stop game playing

Doctors’ leaders unveiled a major new campaign ahead of the General Election calling for an open and honest public debate about securing the future of the NHS.

The launch of the BMA campaign – called No More Games – comes as a new poll highlights a marked increase in public feeling that politicians are putting votes over patients, with 77% believing political parties to be designing health policies to win votes, rather than focusing what is best for the NHS.

The campaign calls for an end to political game playing with the nation’s health.

As part of the campaign, the BMA unveiled a new poster at thousands of sites to bring the campaign to the public’s attention. The poster, featuring a giant toy tower representing the NHS, will feature on billboards and bus shelters.

The BMA is now calling on the public to add their voices to those of doctors across the country in calling for all political parties to stop the game playing and have an open and honest public debate about securing the future of the NHS.

Commenting, BMA council chair, Dr Mark Porter, said: “The NHS is one of the UK’s towering achievements, but for too long it has been used to play political games. With health the public’s number one election issue, this game playing is on the rise with all political parties laying the blame for the current NHS crisis at each other’s door rather than facing the problem head on.

“Against the background of the worst A&E waiting time figures for a decade,the public is being treated to claims and counter claims from political parties about ‘weaponising’ the health service, ‘betraying’ the public’s trust on the NHS. Caught in the middle are thousands of patients and NHS staff waiting for real, evidenced solutions.

“The BMA is calling for an open and honest debate in which all political parties come together with the public to ensure the long-term future of the NHS.”

The campaign is calling for:

– a long term commitment to address the major public health issues in our society;

– public confidence that health services will be properly resourced, easy to access and free at the point of use, now and in the future;

– all political parties to commit to long term investment to secure the future of the NHS;

– short term funding announcements to score political points must become a thing of the past;

– no more games with who’s providing patient care;

– the health and wellbeing of patients must always come before making profits from healthcare;

– a publically funded, publically provided service delivers the best patient care.

Porter added: “The scale of the campaign just goes to demonstrate just how concerned doctors are, and we aim to ensure that every member of the public sees it and adds their voice to ours in calling for an end to the game-playing and the start of an open and honest public debate on how we create a long-term, sustainable plan for the NHS.”

Read more on the campaign.

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2 Responses to “Campaign calls on MPs to stop game playing”

  1. Malcolm Morrison says:

    About time, too!

    I am sure ALL doctors, and most patients, want politicians to ‘stop playing party politics’ with the NHS and have a sensible, reasoned debate about its future.

    There can be no doubt that the NHS is now ‘in crisis’ – however much some may try to deny it! (The ‘evidence’ is there in the recent pressure on A&E and the ‘bedblockers’ for whom there is inadeqaute ‘care in the community’ – and the number of Trusts with a deficit in their budgets)

    The basic problem – DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY – must be addressed. The demand has been increasing – due to an ageing population ‘making more demands’ for the diseases of old age and the availability of new , but expensive, treatments for many of those conditions. The supply has always been ‘restricted’ by politicians – who decide how much will be spent on it (the annual budget).

    It canot go on like this. As the song says,”something’s got to give”! So, it means more ‘supply’ (some extra finds – higher taxes or some sort of ‘extra’ income); or reduce ‘demand’ (some sort of rationing).

  2. Joe says:

    I certainly do not intend to belittle this important message very well set out by Mike. I have written before to save the NHS from being a political football one should even take it out of the hands of the politicians. But that I know is wishful thinking.

    Permit me however to make a more positive contribution. It takes two to tango and often even to play a game. I do not diminish the role of the patients but in this context the key players would be the MPs and the doctors represented by the BMA. Is it just the MPs who have played a political game with the NHS but it is just worth a recall. The public may well say let those without fault cast the first stone.

    The BMA has made very justifiable demands in the interest of the NHS and the patients. To convince the public of their genuine interest should the BMA not declare its contributions to this discussion. The public expects the doctors also to deliver best care for the patients and a long term sustainable plan for the NHS.

    A public declaration would be a great and positive contribution. The patients would be greatly appreciative.

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