The BMA (British Medical Association) has launched a campaign to urge the parties to stop playing politics with the NHS in the run up to the May election.
Reporter: Brendan Westhoff
Sub-editor: Jaideep Vaidya
As the general election draws closer, the BMA, which is the professional association for doctors in the UK, has called for an open and honest debate about the future of the NHS.
“These games have been played with the National Health Service for decades. All political parties have been guilty of it,” says Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA.
The campaign followed a survey, which revealed that 77 per cent of participants thought that policies regarding health care are designed to win votes for the political parties and not to do what is best for the NHS.
— No More Games (@BackNoMoreGames) March 12, 2015
At BMA House in Tavistock Square, there stands a Jenga-like tower of blue blocks, depicting the game-like state of the NHS. This representation has the campaigns clear message, ‘#NoMoreGames,’ printed onto it and will feature on billboards and bus shelters displayed across the country, with a flagship poster in King Cross station.
“Against the background of the worst A&E waiting time figures for a decade, the public is being treated to claims and counter claims from political parties about ‘weaponising’ the health service, ‘betraying’ the public’s trust on the NHS. Caught in the middle are thousands of patients and NHS staff waiting for real, evidenced solutions,” says Dr Porter.
The No More Games campaign says that short-term announcements about funding and policies designed to make news headlines and gain political points need to stop. It states that the health and wellbeing of patients must always come before making profits from healthcare and that all parties should commit to long term investments to ensure the future of the country’s health service.
“The NHS is one of the UK’s towering achievements, but for too long it has been used to play political games,” says Dr Porter. “With health the public’s number one election issue, this game playing is on the rise with all political parties laying the blame for the current NHS crisis at each other’s door rather than facing the problem head on.”
Visit www.nomoregames.org.uk for more information.