The BMA has launched its election manifesto with a message for politicians not to duck the NHS crisis and allow ‘Brexit’ to dominate the campaign in the weeks ahead.
The manifesto also calls for general practice to be stabilised as one of its five priorities, and for the proportion of GDP spent on health to be increased from 9.8% to 10.4%.
BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter said: ‘Our NHS is at breaking point and it would be all too easy for this election to become the “Brexit election” and little else, at precisely the time when the health service needs the unrelenting focus of politicians from all parties. Health is always one of the most important issues for the people of this country and politicians ignore it at their peril.’
He added: ‘We call on politicians of all parties not to duck this crisis any longer, or use the NHS as a political football, and instead to outline credible plans that will deliver the fully funded and supported NHS that staff want and patients deserve.’
The BMA manifesto, ‘A vote for health’, outlines five main priorities. It calls on politicians to:
- Stabilise general practice in the face of soaring demand, a critical shortage of GPs and excessive bureaucracy;
- Ensure the health service is a priority during Brexit negotiations;
- Increase spending on health from 9.8 per cent to 10.4 per cent of GDP, bringing it in line with other leading EU economies;
- Address the pressures across the healthcare system that prevent the delivery of high-quality, safe patient care; and
- Take urgent action to improve the health of the population and reverse cuts to public health.