New Labour’s Health Care Record – by Lee Scott MP

lee-scott-dodg1.jpgOver recent years this Government has pumped more and more tax payer’s money into health services in the UK. Since 1997 the total budget for the NHS has more than trebled to over £100 billion but the sad and sorry fact is that much of this money has not been well spent.

The loss of out of hours GP services, the unavailability for many of NHS dentistry, the shambles in doctor training posts and the threat of severe cuts to local hospital services illustrate how badly the money has been spent. This Government introduced new contracts for GPs and for dentists which have clearly resulted in poorer service for patients.

The Audit Commission report shows that the reorganisation of the NHS over the last year has cost a staggering £190 million in pension and redundancy payouts to staff. There is almost a £1 billion of debt in the heath service.

Our dirty hospitals result in patients becoming victims of MRSA and clostridium difficile in alarmingly large numbers. Hospital staff are concentrating on government set targets which have in reality little to do with patient care.

We are also facing a disturbing divide in our ‘National’ health service when patients in Scotland will see the abolition of all prescription charges north of the border within four years. How can that be considered either fair or reasonable. Those living in Scotland already benefit free eye tests and dental check ups. Under the outdated Barnett formula Scotland gets about £1,500 each year more of Government funding per person than England.

At a time when population is increasing in East London and demands on the NHS are rising how Ministers can justify plans for cuts in our local King George hospital is beyond belief. It is a disgrace in a National Health Service that patients are subject to a post code lottery in the availability of particular treatments. I believe that in a national health service then patients should not be penalised for where they live

Our doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are doing their very best in a system that is letting them and their patients down. Political interference, Government set targets and poor management that has not moved with the times lie at the root of the NHS’s problems.

We need to put in place a healthcare framework that that puts at its core the effective and successful treatment of patients. This Government has proved beyond doubt that constant political interference in the NHS is a recipe for disaster no matter how much money is thrown at the problem. It is time for politicians to take a step back and to let the health care professions do their jobs.

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