The NHS is 70 today. It remains one of Labour’s greatest ever achievements. The NHS took the market out of health, and is founded on the principle that healthcare should be provided based on need and not on the ability to pay.
Despite the Tories all celebrating too, it remains a fact that the Tory Party voted against the creation of the NHS over 20 times in parliament and the Tory health spokesperson described the NHS Bill as “a fatal step from which there will be no going back”.
They voted against its creation, and now they are starving it of funding.
The NHS has had 70 years, and to keep going for another 70 years it is vital that it receives the funding it needs so that everyone can access healthcare, free at the point of use.
The Government’s funding pledge is not only un-costed, but also simply not enough. Even under the Thatcher/Major Government, the NHS had a 3.6% funding increase. This puts into stark contrast the meagre 1.9% increase that we have seen from successive Tory Governments, led by David Cameron and now Theresa May.
The Government wants plaudits for starving the NHS of funds and now for continuing with a below average increase on NHS funding. This just isn’t good enough.
On the 70th birthday of the NHS, it is great to celebrate all its wonderful achievements, but it’s now time for the Government to step up, so that the NHS can keep going.