High-quality healthcare, free at the point of use, is essential for both individual freedom and national prosperity. Good health gives people the freedom to live the lives they choose, and a thriving economy needs a healthy population.
The Conservatives have plunged the NHS into crisis – as have the SNP in Scotland and Labour in Wales. They have run local health services into the ground, putting people, buildings and beds under immense pressure. With 112,000 staff vacancies in England alone, long waiting times, missed targets and poor outcomes, patient safety is being pushed into the danger zone.
People are no longer confident that when they need medical help they can get it. When they ring 999 they don’t know if they will get the emergency treatment they need in time. Millions are waiting for treatment, unable to work.
Ade and the Liberal Democrats believe that everyone should get the care they need, when they need it. That’s why we would ensure everyone can get an appointment when they need one and get the crucial treatment they so desperately need.
In particular, we will:
- Give everyone the right to see their GP within seven days, or within 24 hours if they urgently need to. To deliver on that right, we will train, recruit and retain more GPs and free up more of their time.
- Reform NHS dentistry so that no one is forced to pay hundreds of pounds for private care.
- Finally put mental health on the same footing as physical health.
- Invest in public health and prevention so that fewer people get ill and need treatment.
- Recruit, train and retain more doctors and nurses to fill the thousands of vacancies in the NHS and cut waiting times.
- Fix the life-threatening crisis in our ambulance services and provide emergency funding to tackle poor response times.