As leading doctors from across the UK gather this week for the annual British Medical Association (BMA) conference in Bournemouth, the government must listen to the concerns of the medical profession.
The chairman of the BMA has warned that the government is running the NHS on “nothing but fumes”.
Right across the north east, health and social care services are at breaking point as ministers have continually ignored pleas from the profession about the impact that under-investment and poor workforce planning were having on the level of patient care being provided.
The public share these concerns, with a recent BMA survey revealing that almost seven in ten people felt the NHS was headed in the “wrong direction”, and the figures showing that dissatisfaction with the NHS has almost doubled since 2015.
With the UK spending less than leading European economies on healthcare, the NHS is left in a vulnerable position, with waiting times rising, patient care suffering and staff working under increasingly difficult circumstances.
The government has the choice to improve the NHS to the level that patients deserve. It must do so before it heads even further in the wrong direction.
Dr George Rae
BMA North East regional council chairman