Doctors’ leaders have today unveiled a major new campaign ahead of the General Election calling for an open and honest public debate about securing the future of the NHS and an end to political game playing with the nation’s health.
The BMA’s campaign – No More Games – calls for:
No More Games with the public’s health
No More Games with NHS funding
No More Games with who’s providing patient care
The launch of the campaign comes as a new poll highlights a marked increase in public feeling that politicians are putting votes over patients, with 77 per cent believing political parties to be designing health policies to win votes, rather than focusing what is best for the NHS.
As part of the campaign, the BMA has today unveiled a new poster at thousands of sites to bring the campaign to the public’s attention. The poster, featuring a giant toy tower representing the NHS, will feature on billboards and bus shelters.
The BMA is now calling on the public to add their voices to those of doctors across the country in calling for all political parties to stop the game playing and have an open and honest public debate about securing the future of the NHS.
Commenting, BMA council chair, Dr Mark Porter, said:
“The NHS is one of the UK’s towering achievements, but for too long it has been used to play political games. With health the public’s number one election issue2, this game playing is on the rise with all political parties laying the blame for the current NHS crisis at each other’s door rather than facing the problem head on.
“Against the background of the worst A&E waiting time figures for a decade3,the public is being treated to claims and counter claims from political parties about ‘weaponising’ the health service4, ‘betraying’5 the public’s trust on the NHS. Caught in the middle are thousands of patients and NHS staff waiting for real, evidenced solutions.
“The BMA is calling for an open and honest debate in which all political parties come together with the public to ensure the long-term future of the NHS. We want to see a stop to the headline-grabbing such as 48-hour targets for GP appointments6, payments for dementia diagnoses7 and unfunded budget pledges8.
“It is not just doctors sounding this call – 77 per cent of the public believe politicians are designing health policies simply to win votes.
“The scale of the campaign just goes to demonstrate just how concerned doctors are, and we aim to ensure that every member of the public sees it and adds their voice to ours in calling for an end to the game-playing and the start of an open and honest public debate on how we create a long-term, sustainable plan for the NHS.”
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