VOTERS will head to the polls on Thursday, but for many who are unsure where to cast their ballot – the NHS may become a deciding factor. So what exactly will happen to the NHS if the Conservatives or Labour Party win the election?
The latest polls have Boris Johnson with more than a 10 percentage point lead against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. At the beginning of the campaign period, British voters considered Brexit to be the most important issue in the upcoming election, however, the NHS was in second place. But what do the Labour Party and Conservatives have planned for the National Health Service?
While the December 2019 election has been dubbed by some a “Brexit election”, the NHS is another crucial issue in the upcoming vote.
The topic has been at the centre of several debates after Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn shared what he said were leaked papers which appeared to document US-UK post-Brexit trade talks which he claimed suggested the Tories intended to sell off the health service.
The current Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, however, repeatedly denied the NHS is for sale or will be privatised.
But, the NHS is still a contentious issue and each political party has made a number of pledges regarding the employment of more GPs and additional NHS spending.
Express.co.uk has compiled a guide for what the NHS will look like, following the party’s pledges, if the Conservatives or Labour win.
Conservative Party win:
Getting Brexit over the line is the core tenant of the Tory campaign, however, the National Health Service is another key factor in the party’s manifesto.
The manifesto reiterated that “the NHS will not be on the table” in any future trade talks.
Mr Johnson also pledged to put an end to the “injustice” of people having to sell their family home to pay for the soaring costs of caring for the elderly and disabled.
Fundamentally, Mr Johnson’s party has pledged to:
- Recruit 50,000 extra nurses and 6,000 extra doctors for GP surgeries.
- Hold 50 million extra GP appointments a year.
- Allocate £34 billion in extra funding a year for the NHS by 2024.
- Devise a cross-party agreement to solve the social care crisis.
- Create 40 new hospitals.
- Establish free hospital parking for selected patients and staff.
Under a Conservative Government, the Prime Minister has also promised to recruit 6,000 additional primary care staff such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.
In terms of the free hospital parking, a Tory government would mean NHS staff working at night, Blue Badge holders, the long-term sick and their visiting relatives would be entitled to free parking.
The £3bn pledged to 40 NHS trusts would result in six entirely new hospitals and dozens of refurbishments across others.
One of the biggest promises for the NHS under a Conservative government is that no one will have to sell their house to pay for social care with Mr Johnson promising a £5 billion cash injection to ease the current funding crisis.
Labour Party win:
The Labour Party has pledged to:
- Increase spending across the health sector by an average increase of 4.3 percent per year.
- Establish a moratorium on bed cuts.
- Spend £1.6bn a year for mental health care.
- Allocate an extra £1bn for public health, including 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses.
- Create a state-controlled generic drug company to produce own drugs if private versions prove to be too expensive for the NHS.
- Offer free personal care for the elderly.
- Offer free annual NHS dental check-ups.
- Offer free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.
By comparison to the Conservative Party, a Labour Party government sees it’s aim to repair the NHS as an immediate task.
If elected, Labour has said it would reverse plans to privatise and would increase spending by an average of 4.3 percent a year.
Labour also intends to double annual spending on child and adolescent mental health services to put psychological conditions on a par with physical illnesses.
The party intends to extend the sugar tax to milk drinks and fast food restaurants banned near schools.
Overall, Mr Corbyn’s party intends to deliver a net-zero carbon NHS.