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BMA launches a manifesto for health policy

The BMA has called for increased investment to put the NHS back on a sustainable footing and an end to the punitive pension tax system which is driving doctors out of the workforce

This is an edited version of an article first published by the British Medical Association (BMA)

In the manifesto for health, the association urges a funding increase of 4.1 per cent, a focus on prevention, with tougher action on smoking, alcohol misuse, physical inactivity and poor diet, a final say for the public on any Brexit deal, legislation for safe staffing and an end to the pension tax system.

The manifesto also urges fair pay for doctors, which truly values the medical workforce and helps to retain staff.

The report warns that the NHS is on track to endure its worst-ever winter, with pressures on services expected to skyrocket in the coming months.

The BMA is calling on the government to prioritise the NHS; this follows in the wake of a ‘perfect storm’ caused by a lack of recovery from the worst-ever summer, along with staff shortages, a predicted cold winter and bad ‘flu season, as well as the effect of Brexit.

Doctors brace themselves

“Enough is enough,” said Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair. “Right across the health service, trusts and GP practices will be bracing themselves for, what looks set to be, the worst winter the NHS has ever endured.

“Patients should not fear needing hospital care or not being able to see their GP, and should not have to accept that they may spend hours on a trolley in an emergency department, waiting to be treated.

“Equally, staff working in hospitals and GP practices across the country should not be facing the daunting prospect of having to care for those patients in these relentlessly pressurised environments.

“This perfect storm is brewing alongside the upcoming general election, and politicians should be paying close attention to learn from the failures to invest in, and support, our health service for over a decade.

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“Though the need for urgent funding this winter is pressing, this is not just about a short-term fix. This is about the current, and any future, government putting the NHS back on a sustainable footing, with capacity to meet the demands on its services.

“That requires sufficient numbers of beds and facilities, and an adequately staffed workforce that is ready and motivated to meet rising pressures, which prioritises healthcare prevention and puts patient care back in the focus.’

Click here to read the BMA manifesto.

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