The health service continues to be the proverbial ‘political football’ as successive government seek to improve services and yet simultaneously reduce funding while the population continues to age and need increasing support.
These three things are clearly at odds with each other and there are now very real indications that the NHS is at crisis point;
- UKIP will ensure the NHS is free at the point of delivery and time of need for all UK residents.
- We will stop further use of PFI in the NHS and encourage local authorities to buy out their PFI contracts early where this is affordable.
- We will ensure that GPs’ surgeries are open at least one evening per week, where there is demand for it.
- UKIP opposes plans to charge patients for visiting their GP.
- We will ensure that visitors to the UK, and migrants until they have paid NI for five years, have NHS-approved private health insurance as a condition of entry to the UK, saving the NHS £2bn pa.
- UKIP will commit to spending £200m of the £2bn saving to end hospital car parking charges in England.
- We will replace Monitor and the Care Quality Commission with elected county health boards to be more responsive scrutineers of local health services. These will be able to inspect health services and take evidence from whistle-blowers.
- UKIP opposes the sale of NHS data to third parties.
- We will ensure foreign health service professionals coming to work in the NHS are properly qualified and can speak English to a standard acceptable to the profession.
- UKIP will amend working time rules to give trainee doctors, surgeons and medics the proper environment to train and practise.
- There will be a duty on all health service staff to report low standards of care.