Government’s health policy is dangerous

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I AM writing in regards to what I believe is a contradictory and dangerous policy being undertaken by our Government.

I have been told that “social care is a priority for the Government” and that “providing more resources is not enough on its own”.

Yet frequently over the last couple of weeks, our Prime Minister Mr Cameron and our Health Minister Mr Hunt have both stated figures regarding the number of extra doctors since they came to power – surely this is just resources?

The recent failure over the Christmas period in regards to waiting times is a case in point, especially when our own hospital was below 80 per cent against a target of 95 per cent of people to be seen within four hours.

My friend’s wife attended A&E during this period and was so appalled that she has written a letter of complaint.

Ministers apparently believe that there should be a better integration between health and social care, yet this is combined with cuts representing a spending reduction of 14 per cent in real terms between 2012 and 2015, and our local walk-in centre is to close, with no plan for where the 100,000 people who’d been using it could go.

This pushes patients to A&E, as does the fact that regularly we have to wait over a week, sometimes two, for a GP appointment.

It is like having a bubble that is being pressed down on one side and popping up on the other.

This is what the Government needs to control, and its answer?

Despite cuts, it then announced that it will establish a £3.8bn pooled budget for health and care services.  

Why cut the spending and cut council budgets in the first place? In putting cuts in place, the Government has put undue pressure on busy A&E units, which has seen a knock-on effect of cancelled operations, appointments etc.

What is the cost to the economy? Does it mean longer times spent taking prescription drugs, more appointments? All of which cost money!

I noted that one in three babies born today will live to be 100.

I’d have thought that this Government would have taken on the responsibility of the well-being of our older generation, and the vulnerable, now, let alone in the future, when there will be more older people.

Cuts made now could potentially have an impact on the youth of today who will turn into these predicted centenarians.

The Government continues to force local councils into making outrageous cuts of around 26 per cent, and this is alongside the Care Budget being cut by £3.5m, yet it had still continued to give aid to India, which sent a spaceship to Mars.

If the Government sticks to its promise to end aid to India this year, perhaps the £227m it was sending should be used in our health service instead, and could stop or at least reduce the cuts.

They, in turn, could have more GPs and walk-in centres to help underpin the integration between health and social care the Government believes is the key to improvement.

Mr J Grant,

Gosforth Avenue,

South Shields.