Published on 23/04/2015
The NHS continues to dominate the general election 2015 as party leaders focus on one of the biggest issues for voters.
The NHS grabs the headlines during the election
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that NHS founder Aneurin Bevan would be ‘turning in his grave’ if he could see the way the NHS Wales was being run by Labour. Labour retorted that the Conservatives had dismantled the health service in England.
This latest disagreement between the two major parties highlights the fragility and uncertainty surrounding the future of the NHS. The NHS benefits from ring-fenced funding but continues to suffer from extended waiting times.
As of February 2015 there were more than 3 million people waiting for treatment from the NHS with an average waiting time of 10 weeks from referral to treatment, according to figures from NHS England.
Both major parties have made pledges to the NHS in their election manifestos to improve the service and continue its existence.
The Conservatives pledge increased spending on the NHS year on year and commits at least an extra £8bn by 2020. The current government also aspires for a ‘truly seven-day NHS at the frontier of science’ and the addition of 9,500 doctors and 6,500 nurses. The Labour party plan to recruit an extra 8,000 GPs, 20,000 nurses and 3,000 midwives and ‘invest in its future and join up services from home to hospital’.
In addition to the services provided by the NHS, private health insurance can let you access private healthcare. This enables you to skip NHS waiting lists and be treated at a private hospital of your choice at a time that is convenient to you.
By choosing health insurance you can also relieve the pressure on the NHS by receiving private health care instead of the public service. Anyone with private health insurance still has full, unrestricted access to the services provided by the NHS if they wish.
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