Starmer promises Labor will get the NHS back on its feet
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer will unveil plans on Monday to restore the NHS if his party wins the next general election, pledging to cut waiting times and reduce deaths from cancer, heart disease and suicide.
In his speech, Starmer argues that the future of the NHS will be up for grabs in next year’s election, warning that the health service cannot be sustained unless there are “serious, deep, long-term changes”. are being prepared.
Starmer pledges to meet NHS cancer targets by ensuring patients are seen and diagnosed on time. It also promises to reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent within 10 years, reduce A&E waiting times and ensure suicide deaths fall within five years.
With opinion polls currently giving his party a double-digit lead, Starmer says: “The next Labor government will deliver an NHS that is there when you need it. . . we’re getting the NHS back on its feet.”
Health services are a major concern for voters due to the months-long strike and labor shortages. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made reducing NHS waiting times one of his five promises as leader.
Based on YouGov45 percent of the respondents believe that health is the most important issue of the country, second only to the management of the economy.
The state of the health service also dominated the last local elections in May, which saw the Conservatives lose around 1,000 council seats across England.
The Financial Times reported at the weekend that medical professionals, including the Royal College of Radiologists, had written to Health Secretary Steve Barclay to warn that cancer patients’ chances of survival were falling because staff shortages in England were delaying treatments.
The letter warns that staffing levels have forced many hospital departments to “make difficult decisions about whether to deny access to approved treatments or dictate which patients can receive treatment within a safe time at the expense of others”.
Long wait times for cancer patients were “unfortunately routine,” the letter added, noting that the risk of death increased by about 10 percent for each month of delay.
Overall, all hospital waiting lists in England stood at a record 7.3 million at the end of March, with almost 360,000 waiting more than a year and just under 11,000 waiting more than 18 months, according to official figures published this month.