Health Policies for 2015

The political parties have not yet produced their manifestos for 2015.  This is a round up of  their current statements about health policy.

Labour’s Health and Care Policy is in detail on this site.

The Conservative Party website doesn’t seem to say anything about health at all, and nobody in the Conservative Party now wants to talk about the Health and Social Care Act of 2012.

Liberal Democrats say  Tories and Labour have put the NHS at risk. It was Liberal Democrats who stopped Conservative privatisation plans and reverse some of Labour’s policies which meant private health companies got special favours. In fact, Labour paid private companies £250 million for operations they didn’t even perform. Liberal Democrats have made sure that can never happen again.

The Green Party produced a very lengthy policy statement in 2010, which has been recently amended.  It deals at length with health as well as with treatment.

It’s difficult to work out what UKIP policy is.  Their website isn’t very helpful. What it says about health is:

  • Open GP surgeries in the evening, for full-time workers, where there is demand.
  • Locally-elected County Health Boards to inspect hospitals – to avoid another Stafford Hospital crisis.

But next to them there is this rather ambiguous graphic:

Approved Health Insurance

Louise Bours, the UKIP candidate in Heywood is quoted as saying: ‘UKIP will ensure the NHS remains free at the point of delivery and need. A two tier national health system, where those with money can opt to pay for enhanced services will never be acceptable’.  The party would abolish Monitor and the Care Quality Commission which regulates hospital care quality and replace them with  local health boards run by clinicians.

The Scottish National Party stresses:

  • Protecting the health service
  • Shorter waiting times
  • One stop cancer diagnosis
  • Cleaner and safer hospitals
  • More flexible access to healthcare

Plaid Cymru, like Andy Burnham, believe health and social care should be merged and provide a fully integrated service.

In summary – apart from the Tories, who are keeping quiet – all politicians are signed up to the NHS as the national religion. Everyone wants to see a free comprehensive service. They all want to protect the NHS and every building it’s ever used. But with the possible exception of Labour, nobody wants to talk about the problems facing the NHS.  However, on the bright side, most political parties are prepared to talk about mental health – which was not the case a few years ago, and more are prepared to talk about wellbeing and public health than used to be the case.