UKIP will plough an extra £3bn ‘per year’ into the NHS frontline services and introduce private health insurance for migrants and tourists if elected to government, the party has announced.
In a move aimed at quelling voters’ fears that UKIP does not believe in free health care, party leader Nigel Farage said UKIP was ‘100% committed to keeping the NHS free for all British nationals’.
UKIP said the extra funding will not come from cuts elsewhere, but from savings it will make by withdrawing from Europe and ceasing EU contributions.
And it will plug the current NHS deficit by cutting ‘middle management’, and making health insurance a condition of entry to the UK.
Mr Farage said: ‘UKIP is the only party to be able to make this pledge, as the money will come, not from cuts outside the NHS budget but as part of the post-EU dividend… The simple fact is that the £10bn or so we’ll save by leaving the EU and ceasing contributions and it’s not just the historic contributions, that the UK has to face, but the increasing costs that we will not have to spend in the future.’
He added: ‘We will also end health tourism, saving another £2bn, and cut NHS management – it’s outrageous that spending on managers has gone up by over £700m since Tony Blair got his hands on the NHS, but clinical outcomes have not improved.’
Mr Farage said he would be making a detailed explanation on how the spending plans will work in a ‘major’ upcoming speech on the NHS.