Union polling shows record dissatisfaction with healthcare
More people are dissatisfied with the NHS than satisfied for the first time on record, according to new polling from the British Medical Association (BMA).
At the medical union’s annual meeting in Bournemouth, chair Mark Porter unveiled new figures showing soaring levels of public concern about the future of the health service.
In his keynote speech, Porter warned that ‘we have a government trying to keep the health service running on nothing but fumes.’
He told the conference:
“It’s not just doctors saying this. According to research we have published today, 62 per cent of the public think the NHS will get worse over the next few years. Two years ago, that figure was 39 per cent.
Our research shows that the public expects waiting times to rise, the scope and availability of services to contract, and that the NHS will not receive the funding it needs to deliver high-quality care. For the first time in our polling, more of the public are dissatisfied with the NHS than are satisfied.”
The poll also found that 82 per cent of people are worried about the NHS and 69 per cent believe it is heading in the wrong direction. Additionally, despite the lofty promises of Boris Johnson and his bus, almost seven in ten people believe that the NHS will not get enough attention in the years ahead because of Brexit.
Also this week, the BMA is voting on proposals to allow GP surgeries to turn patients away when they become to busy. The ‘black alert’ system would allow practices to shut their doors if they believe they cannot safely provide care to any more people.
Hospitals already implement a ‘black alert’ system and the plan to extend them to family doctors has the support of the Royal College of GPs.
In his speech, Porter accused Theresa May of blaming GPs for the problems in the health service.
“In January, in the midst of what the British Red Cross called a ‘humanitarian crisis’, with both GPs and hospitals working flat out, the prime minister chose to set one against the other.
Seriously? The prime minister sees a health service at breaking point and blames GPs? When almost a third of practices can’t fill GP vacancies, when they’re dealing with tens of millions more appointments than they did a decade ago, with a smaller share of NHS funding.”
He claimed that government is demanding that doctors ‘deliver the impossible’.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.