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New government warns of NHS 'efficiency savings'

Published on 13/05/2010
The new health secretary Andrew Lansley has warned that NHS spending will have to be scaled back as the government seeks to slash the budget deficit.

Under terms agreed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, who together have formed a coalition government, NHS funding has been guaranteed to rise in real terms each year.

However, Mr Lansley said that the "substantial increase" seen in health funding under Labour was "not sustainable for the future", with "efficiency savings" now a priority.

"It may well be true that in the past there has been a substantial increase in pay and prices in the NHS relative to the rest of the economy," he said.

"That is not sustainable for the future. What is sustainable for the NHS is that we deliver efficiency savings in the NHS in the same way as the rest of the public sector."

During the election campaign, new business secretary Liberal Democrat Vince Cable criticised Tory plans to ring-fence NHS spending increases relative to inflation.

Mr Cable is one of five Lib Dems given a cabinet posting under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, which resulted after no party was able to win a majority of seats at the general election.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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