“The crisis in the NHS - the worst in history - is a Conservative crisis that has been 14 years in the making. The longer the Tories are in power, the longer patients will wait. Their time is up.”
The Tories have run out of excuses and everyone can see it. It’s always someone else’s fault, according to the Conservative Party, whenever they’re confronted over their appalling record in office, whether it’s on the state of the economy, or the NHS or their failures to ‘level up’ Britain.
Having himself last year set out five pledges by which he wanted the public to judge his performance by, Sunak is failing on all of them except one.
One of those pledges was to cut NHS waiting lists and the Prime Minister was forced to admit that he has failed in that promise, with waiting lists now half a million higher than the start of last year.
He told Piers Morgan on TalkTV that he had failed to cut NHS waiting lists and sought to blame the increase on NHS strikes.
Sunak wants you to believe that record-high waiting lists are the result of factors beyond the government’s control, such as the pandemic and subsequent strikes among NHS workers over low pay and poor conditions.
In fact, the waiting list for treatment has been growing for much of the last decade, passing three million in 2014, four million in 2017, five million in 2021 and seven million in 2022.
In February 2020, the last full month before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the waiting list stood at 4.57 million.
The Royal College of Nursing has also previously hit back at Sunak’s claim that strike action has resulted in soaring waiting lists.
The RCN said last year: “Waiting lists were growing long before the pandemic and strike action – and the prime minister should take responsibility for the knife-edge position of the NHS and not point the finger.”
With waiting lists at record highs and growing even before the pandemic and strike action, many called Sunak out on his latest excuse.
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting posted on X: “Waiting lists were at record highs BEFORE the pandemic.
“The crisis in the NHS – the worst in history – is a Conservative crisis that has been 14 years in the making. The longer the Tories are in power, the longer patients will wait. Their time is up.”
Cat Hobbs, founder and director of We Own it posted on X: “Rishi Sunak, it is YOUR government alone that is responsible for the 7.2 million waiting list.
“You have wasted billions on failed private sector contracts while underfunding our NHS and underpaying staff. END CUTS AND PRIVATISATION – we want our NHS back.”