UKIP is pledging to ensure there are 10,000 additional GPs working in England by 2025.
Its manifesto, published today, says this will be achieved simply by lifting the cap on medical school training places from 7,500 to 10,000.
It also pledges an extra £9bn a year for NHS England by 2021/22, and £2bn for social care.
It says it will fund this with ‘savings we will make from the foreign aid budget’, which would be cut by £11bn.
The manifesto says: ‘Raising the cap on medical school places will help deliver the 10,000 additional GPs the profession needs by 2025.’
It adds that the party ‘will also introduce new funding arrangements incentivising doctors to work in geographical areas most in need’ and pay the tuition fees of doctors who work for 10 years (out of the first 15) in the NHS.
It further pledges to:
- Help GPs ‘grappling with heavy workloads and over-regulation’ by ending ‘appraisal and revalidation work that goes beyond that deemed necessary by the GMC’;
- ‘Reduce the burden of data collection and target chasing’;
- Stand by 2015 pledge to abolish the CQC;
- ‘Fund the cost of streamlined “return to practice” training, and encourage retired GPs or GPs with small children to work part-time or in job-share schemes’;
- ‘Make re-registering with the [GMC] much easier’ for doctors who have worked overseas ‘by recognising comparable qualifications, experience, and accreditation’;
- Introduce ‘a wider range of healthcare professionals and clinical services into GP surgeries’ to ‘make general practice less stressful’;
- ‘Fund additional support staff such as physician associates, clinical pharmacists and health visitors in GP surgeries’;
- ‘Allow practices to operate a wider range of clinics, including minor surgery, where feasible’.
- End sex education in primary schools.
Other health pledges include establishing a Department for Health and Care and an spening an extra £500m a year on mental health services.
Non-NHS pledges include a ban on flying the EU flag from public buildings and declaring 23 June ‘Independence Day’, making it a bank holiday.
What are political parties promising on the NHS?
Green Party: Told Pulse it would ensure an 80% increase in funding for general practice but the manifesto has little detail. It says the party will ‘close the NHS spending gap and provide an immediate cash injection, to ensure everyone can access a GP, hospitals can run properly, and staff are fairly paid’.
Conservative Party: Pledges to increase NHS funding by £8bn over five years and has brought forward seven-day routine GP appointments for all plan to 2019.
Labour Party: £37bn extra additional NHS funding in the next Parliament, funded by tax rises on those on highest incomes. Draft manifesto pledged funding boost to general practice and this was confirmed in the final version published last week. The party has also pledged to scrap the 1% cap on NHS staff pay rises.
Liberal Democrats: £6bn extra a year to the NHS, funded by a 1% increase to all income tax, to be geared towards high-impact areas including general practice. Health spokesperson Norman Lamb said the party wants to abandon the Government’s seven-day GP agenda but the manifesto says it want to ‘expand evening and weekend opening’ in line with ‘local needs’.