Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Shadow Health Secretary: NHS Cash Boost "Not Enough Money"

Shadow Health Secretary: NHS Cash Boost

Making a much-trailed speech about a new long-term funding deal for the health service, the prime minister confirmed a planned real-terms annual rise of 3.4% until 2023/24, giving NHS England £20.5bn more a year by the end of the period.

The Government said that under the plan by 2023-24, the NHS budget will increase compared to today by over £20 billion a year in real terms, which is approximately £600 million a week in cash terms.

The Prime Minister said some of the extra money will from Britain's "Brexit dividend" as the United Kingdom stops sending vast sums of money to Brussels after the country quits the EU.

During the 2016 referendum campaign on European Union membership, the pro-Brexit camp claimed that Britain was sending 350 million pounds a week to the European Union and should spend that money on the NHS instead.

"The debate over Brexit can be divisive, but that famous campaign promise can now unite us all: the British public voted for £350 million a week for the NHS, and that - and more - is exactly what this government will deliver", Hunt said.

Speaking in a BBC interview, Mrs May did not elaborate on how the £20bn a year would be funded but told Andrew Marr: "As a country we will be contributing more, a bit more, but also we will have that sum of money that is available from the European Union. It must be a plan that tackles waste, reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unacceptable variation, with all these efficiency savings reinvested back into patient care".

Some of the extra money could be found by increased borrowing or cuts in spending in other public services. "It must be a plan that enjoys the support of NHS staff across the country - not something dreamt up in Whitehall and centrally imposed".

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "In the NHS's 70th year, I urge the Scottish government to invest this extra money in improving health services in Scotland".

Dr Gerada told HuffPost that May had "attempted to appease" Brexiteers by "talking about a fictitious source of funds", adding: "There is no Brexit dividend and it is disappointing that what should be good news, namely additional NHS funding, has been clouded by citing a non-existent funding source".

That's a faster increase than in recent years, .

May is under pressure to explain how her government will fund increased funding for the NHS.

"And the invitation to the NHS to develop consensus proposals for legislation will help accelerate the move to more integrated care, and ensure taxpayers' money is spent to maximum benefit".

As health professionals experiencing the effect of chronic under-investment in our health service we welcome the Prime Minister's pledge of greater investment for the NHS. Any departure that involves tax increases could upset core voters and open it up to criticism from the opposition Labour Party. This is unsustainable and we call on the Prime Minister to specifically address this in the detail of her plans, ' she said.

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