There was a piece on ITN this evening about the NHA Party with ITV’s Health Editor, Rachel Younger. Click on this link to watch: More doctors to stand in the election to “save the NHS”. The news item said that doctors are standing as candidates in the general election for a new party, National Health Action. The party says it is dedicated to improving and defending the health service.
ITV’s Rachel Younger: A healthy debate? It’s anything but say the UK’s doctors, with the NHS under pressure like never before. The political mudslinging isn’t new but this time the BMA wants to take a scalpel to hollow words from every party.
Dr Mark Porter (Chair of The BMA): We have an NHS that is being funded through dodgy promises and panicked pledges. An NHS where the promise of new money turns out to be recycled, or is based on taxes that have not yet even been invented.
ITV’s Rachel Younger: But with the general election looming, that hasn’t stopped it feeling at times like there are more politicians than nurses on the wards. This year the NHS overtook immigration to become voters’ top priority. With half of them saying it was now their most important concern. But according to a new poll 77% believe NHS policy is being made to win votes, rather than to do what’s best for the service. 70% now want doctors to get a greater say in how the NHS is run. And that is exactly what some doctors are trying to do by standing for parliament themselves. The National Health Action Party now boasts 12 candidates infuriated by the coalition’s record on health.
ITV’s Rachel Younger: Stethoscopes have been swapped for ballot boxes before. Dr Richard Taylor winning twice in Kidderminster on a promise to save his local hospital from closure.
Dr Richard Taylor: I was staggered when I got into the House of Commons to hear the depth of ignorance of most MPS about health issues and about the NHS.
ITV’s Rachel Younger: The message is it’s patients not politics and it’s their vote that remains the best weapon against the weaponisation of the NHS.