BY BEN KERRIGAN
Labour’s shadow’s health secretary,Andy Burnham has blasted the Tories for the shortage of nurses revealed in health service journal reports. In response to the journals, he said
“These figures are yet more proof of the shortage of nurses in the Tory NHS. But David Cameron is drawing up plans to cut 2,000 nursing posts after the election. Hospitals are already at their limits and it will push them over the edge.
“It is now clear that, just like last time, Cameron’s NHS promises have an expiry date of election day stamped on them. The NHS simply cannot take five more years of David Cameron.
“Labour has set out a better plan to invest £2.5 billion extra each year – on top of Tory spending plans – paid for by a mansion tax on homes worth £2 million, to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.
The NHS is going to be a key election factor, because of the obvious importance of health in society. All of society are in unison when it comes to the fundamental understanding and agreement that the health of our citizens cannot be compromised under any circumstances at all. Hospitals are expected to be fully equipped with staff, money and all the essentials relevant to the optimum maintenance of an efficient health service. Intuitively, we all agree that shortage of nurses is inexcusable in a country were experts in the medical field are in no short supply. Only an infusion of the required amount of money can stand in the way of a reliable and well functioning NHS. Any plans to reduce an already inadequate supply of nurses shows an alarming lack of insight into those matters of paramount importance to a properly functioning society.
Insufficient nurses means more deaths, less preventable diseases, and more of the potential labour force lying in hospital beds longer than necessary when they could be contributing to the productivity of society. Cameron’s plans to cut nurses down by 2,000 should be resented in the strongest terms. His plans show an under appreciation for nurses, and most importantly, patient’s. By contrast, Labour’s plans to invest £2.5 billion every year is most welcoming. They plan to highly increase the number of nurses in addition to utilizing the mansion tax on homes to fund a further 20,000 nurses to improve the quality and services of our hospitals, plus 8,000 GP’s. However, the Tories have questioned the viability of Labour’s plans to raise the £2.5bn they claim they will inject into the NHS. A conservative spokeswoman rejected Burnham’s claims by stating that the Labour party has failed to inject an £8bn requirement into the NHS.
Today, she told the BBC “This marks a new low in Ed Miliband’s desperate attempts to weaponise the NHS,” “His credibility on health is in tatters because he refuses to fund the £8bn the NHS needs.
“By building a stronger economy, we have protected and improved the NHS with 9,500 more doctors, 6,900 more nurses, and 1.3 million more life-saving operations every year.” A rise of 9,500 doctors is not bad, though the critical question is whether there is a need for more doctors or if that figure is good enough. Further, no amount of increased doctors will compensate for a reduction of nurses by 2,000- the conservative party need to get that right. A more worrying concern relates to the stretch of five years over which the Conservatives plan to raise their NHS budget to £8.5b.
Labour’s credibility on the NHS may be somewhat questionable, but things may be different under the leadership of Ed Milliband. The labour leader may have struggled in terms of popularity in the past, but he might just be the man to change things. We cannot hold him responsible for the NHS under Tony Blair’s administration. We must judge him once he comes into power. The debate over the NHS has been sparked because all the parties know how important it is. What we must not forget is the other areas of high importance like the EU, the cut in student fees from £9,000 to £6,000. The hike in students fees by the coalition government was a terrible mistake which was unforgivable. One the Labour government should be commended in their plans to bring it down. A pledge of £2.5bn for Labour seems to exceed a pledge of £8 bn over 5 years. The big question is can we trust them? It is going to always be a gamble trusting politicians, but on the strength of what they are pledging, and the feasibility of executing it, Labour look in better shape