Pressing Government for increased spending on health service
During the House of Commons debate on the impact of Government policies on living standards today, I called on the Chancellor to increase National Health Service funding to ensure that the NHS budget in York, North Yorkshire and nationally, rises in real terms.
Figures that I obtained from the independent House of Commons Library show that in its last year in office, the Labour Government increased the budget of North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust by 5.8%, which, with inflation running at 3.7%, represented a net increase of 2.1%. In the first year of the Coalition Government, the local PCT budget was increased by 2.2% but, with the Retail Price Index running at 4%, this represented a 1.8% cut in real terms. Nationally, the real-terms cut in NHS funding in 2011-12 is 0.56% on the previous year, and in 2012-13 it is predicted to be 0.33%.
I pointed out that with inflation higher than expected, the Coalition Government is failing to meet its promise to increase spending on the NHS in real terms. I argued that the Treasury therefore needs to increase NHS funding to meet its pledge. My contribution to the debate can be read here.
The Government has broken its promise on the NHS by cutting the health budget in real terms. York is back to a postcode lottery where patients are being denied a growing range of treatments for obesity, infertility, back pain and minor surgery – treatments which are available to NHS patients in neighbouring areas and other parts of the country. I am pressing the Government to provide adequate funding for the North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust and for the NHS nationally, so that patients get the care their doctors say they need.