Responding to the news that the prime minister has called a general election on 8 June, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, has called on politicians of all parties not to duck the crisis in the NHS any longer. Dr Porter said:
“Health is always one of the most important issues for the people of this country and with the NHS at breaking point, having been put through one of the worst winters on record, it must be a central issue in the upcoming election. The NHS must not be pushed to the margins in the focus on Brexit.
“Staff have ensured that we still have one of the best health services in the world, but years of underinvestment while patient demand has been rising means that it is now failing too many people, too often. Our hospitals and GP surgeries are full and social care is on its knees, with staff working under impossible conditions. There are crippling funding and staffing shortages undermining the delivery of safe care, and serious question marks over the future of thousands of EU citizens who are a vital part of the NHS.
“Consecutive governments have been in denial about the state of the NHS and when it comes to elections have chosen to use it as a political football. Our health and social care systems can no longer cope without urgent action. We call on politicians of all parties not to duck this crisis any longer, and instead to outline credible and sustainable plans that will safeguard the future of the fully funded and supported NHS that staff want and patients deserve.”