Dr Louise Irvine on Sky News about the NHS as a Major Election Issue

Recently, the National Health Action Party’s Dr Louise Irvine talked to Sky News about the need to campaign for the NHS in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

Click here to listen to the interview: https://audioboom.com/boos/2787518-audio-from-sky-news-interview-with-dr-louise-irvine

Key points that Louise makes are:

Louise-IrvineNHS is in crisis manifested in A&E performance, longer delays for treatment, longer waits to see a GP, lack of mental health beds across country. These are the worst times ever for the NHS and it is quite right to describe it as a crisis.

NHS is precious for Britain and it is one of the things that makes us proud to be British. I do not trust Cameron at all. He has not protected NHS budgets as promised. £20bn of cuts have been dressed up as efficiency savings over past 4.5 years with another £30bn to come. He does not keep his promises. He promised no top down re-organisation. Before the last election he brought in biggest re-organisation which has been a major distraction and waste of money.

As well as being a GP, I’ve become part of a small new political party called the National Health Action Party. We need to challenge all the main parties on their health agenda. None of the parties is facing up to the real funding crisis facing the NHS. None is prepared to meet the financial commitment to meet growing and legitimate demands of our growing population. None has committed to reversing the privatisation which is also wasting resources. The coalition has no strategy for tackling the future needs for the NHS. We need to challenge them.

Any system has areas where there can be some streamlining but NHS has been found internationally to be one of the most cost effective in the world. We spend less than all the G7 countries on our healthcare system. We spend about half of what America spends on its healthcare system. We could spend more and not be excessive. There is waste in the NHS – in the whole outsourcing agenda, private management consultancy fees, agency fees, profit going to private companies. We could look to save money. We also need to see if we need to pay more through the taxation system but let’s first look at all the tax dodgers – the private healthcare companies, the PFI firms who are not paying their fair share of tax because they are based in offshore tax havens. If we could tackle that, we could bring in a lot more money for frontline care and frontline services.

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