Launching the party’s health policy on Monday, health spokeswoman Louise Bours committed to invest an additional £3bn in front-line NHS services if it were to win the general election in May.
She said endless top-down reorganisations, expensive PFI and highly paid management were draining the NHS of cash while dysfunctional targets are imposed depending on the reputational requirements of the government of the day.
Getting a GP appointment had become ‘almost a battle’, she added.
- £3bn new funding for new staff including 8,000 GPs
- Train more GPs
- Allow women GPs to take time out of their five years free tuition fee qualifying period to have families
- Abolish re-training fees for returners
- Free GPs from the ‘burden of unnecessary data collection, target chasing, revalidation, and appraisals work’
- Require practices to open one evening a week and one weekend a month
- Increase funding for mental health and dementia services
- Require all migrants, overseas students and visitors to have medical insurance to save £2bn from ‘health tourism’
- Introduce licensing for NHS managers
- Integrate health and social care under NHS control
- A GP in every A&E
- Scrap CQC and hand its powers to new county health boards
Ms Bours said: ‘Our set of NHS policies are based on the experiences, needs and desires of real people that work and live outside the Westminster bubble; the people for whom the NHS is vital.
‘UKIP will not play politics with the people’s health service. We’re offering the country an NHS you tell us you need, an NHS you tell us you want, an NHS you will be happy dedicating some of your working day to support.’
Earlier, Ms Bours told the BBC she supported, and would continue to support, an NHS funded entirely from taxation, despite party leader Nigel Farage having called for a debate on moving to an insurance-based system. There, would she said, be ‘no talk at all’ of an insurance-based system or privatisation.
In November The Guardian uncovered a video of Mr Farage telling party members he favoured an insurance system. He also suggested to the Telegraph the NHS could be run and streamlined by a ‘businessman’.
The party’s vice chairman Paul Nuttall MEP has called the NHS ‘inefficient’ and ‘uncompetitive’. Congratulating the coalition government for ‘bringing a whiff of privatisation’ to the NHS, he said: ‘The very existence of the NHS stifles competition, and as competition drives quality and choice, innovation and improvements are restricted. Therefore, I believe, as long as the NHS is the ‘sacred cow’ of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer with a second rate health service.’