BMA sets out health manifesto ahead of 2015 general election

The BMA has launched a manifesto of health policy priorities ahead of next year's UK general election.

BMA: manifesto sets out health priorities
BMA: manifesto sets out health priorities

Four Steps to a Healthier Nation sets out what the doctors’ union believes should be the priorities for the next election.

The BMA’s four steps:

  • Working in partnership with doctors to ensure a sustainable NHS.
  • Supporting the medical workforce.
  • Improving the health of the public.
  • Assuring the quality and safety of patient care.

The manifesto calls on political parties to commit to a ‘sustainable and high-quality NHS for the future’ balancing the best interests of patients with value for public money.

It calls for any changes to be underpinned by evidence and an end to wasteful reorganisation of the NHS.

The next government should introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol of no less than 50p, ban the sale of tobacco to anyone born after 2000, and curb the promotion and availability of unhealthy foods, the BMA manifesto says.

Huge challenge for NHS

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said the enormous challenges facing the NHS would be key issues in the election next May.

‘Politicians need to work more closely with doctors and other health professionals to ensure the future of the health service. Doctors care for patients day-in, day-out, we see their concerns and frustrations at first hand. Our manifesto outlines what doctors believe is needed to ensure the NHS continues to deliver a world-class health service both in terms of excellent care and value for money.

'Doctors want an NHS that prioritises patient care above all. To do this, services need to be properly funded and we need to reverse the creeping privatisation that has taken place under successive governments and compromises the quality of patient care.

‘The NHS is facing a £30bn black hole in funding, while demand on services has never been greater. Our GP surgeries are full, waiting lists are at a six-year high, a quarter of hospital trusts are in the red - securing the future of the NHS must be at the top of the next government’s agenda.’

Last week a coalition of health and care organisations, including RCGP, NHS Confederation and the RCN, launched the 2015 Challenge Manifesto, calling for an end to top-down reorganisation, and political accountability for funding decisions.

‘The years beyond the 2015 election must be a historical turning point in the way we keep people well and how we care for people who need care,' the manifesto said.

GP leaders have welcomed statements in support of general practice published by the three main Westminster parties after GP magazine challenged politicians to back the profession.

But the leaders of both the GPC and the RCGP warned that politicians must build on these messages with tangible offers of support to ease the GP crisis.

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