DFNHS Chair Colin Hutchinson has called for the NHS to be given enough funding to stop the growing number of people forced to ‘go private’ or face unbearable or even life-threatening waits – creating two-tier system the NHS was meant to prevent.
‘People have been digging into their own pockets to pay for private treatment increasingly, as years of inadequate NHS funding brought its inevitable consequence. The pandemic is making this far worse. If people can afford to, they are paying for their scan, their first consultation, simple procedures. Why? Because the wait is unbearable or, in some cases, may well be life threatening. But if they don’t have the money or the treatment is not simple, they have no choice but to wait. Unless this government gives the NHS the funding it needs to deal with the backlog of treatment, that could well be what awaits thousands of people: avoidable suffering. Lost income. People unable to work when they could be. Ultimately, lives needlessly ruined or lost. The NHS was set up to make that a thing of the past. Will this government’s lasting legacy be to bring back the inequity and pain we pay our taxes to prevent?’