Rishi Sunak asks homeless man 'do you work in a business'
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NHS workers are continuing to strike in protest against pay and challenging working conditions which are contributing to the struggles within the healthcare system. As a result of the backlogs, long waiting times, and issues with urgent and emergency medical care, it has been estimated that up to 500 preventable deaths occur each week.
Over the festive period, a number of NHS trusts in England declared a “critical incident” as they struggled to cope with demand.
Rishi Sunak’s response to the NHS crisis has caused anger among members of the public and NHS as he stated that the service has enough funding to cope this winter.
Downing Street stated that the Prime Minister is “confident” that the Government has given the NHS enough funding for it to cope with the winter crisis.
The comments come after ministers have been urged to do more to help save the health service from collapse.
Sunak’s ministers have supported his comments with Transport Secretary Mark Harper stating that the Government’s Autumn Statement last November made “significant” extra resources available to the NHS.
In the Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed that the health service would get an extra £3.3billion every year for the next two years and adult social care will receive £1billion in 2023 and £1.7billion the following year.
The spokesman for Mr Sunak said: “This is certainly an unprecedented challenge for the NHS, brought about by a number of factors, most significantly the global pandemic.
“We are confident we are providing the NHS with the medical funding it needs as we did throughout the pandemic to deal with these issues.
“I think we have been up front with the public long in advance of this winter that because of the pandemic and the pressures it has placed and the backlog of cases that this would be an extremely challenging winter and that it what we are seeing, and we remain thankful to frontline NHS and care staff who are providing this level of care to the public in a challenging time.”
Opposition parties and medical workers reacted to the comments in shock and disbelief with one doctor accusing the government for denying that the NHS is in crisis.
Dr Vishal Sharma, the chair of the consultants committee at the British Medical Association responded to the remarks from Downing Street.
Dr Sharma said: “For staff working in the NHS or any patients desperately trying to access care, No 10’s refusal to admit that the NHs is in crisis will seem simply delusional.
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“To try to reassure us that ministers are confident the NHS has all the funding it needs, at a time when families are seeing relatives left in pain at home or on trolleys in hospital, is taking the public fools.”
He added: “Moreover, the attempt to portray this winter’s crisis as the result of the pandemic and not the result of more than a decade of political choices to reduce investment in the NHS and its workforce is little more than an attempt to rewrite history.”
Dr Sharma noted that the health service “is quite clearly broken” and accused the Government of “underspending on health and ignoring repeated warnings of workforce shortages” which led to its rapid deterioration.
Meanwhile, Dr Adrian Boyle the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, called the PM’s comments “disingenuous” as “the structural problems” within the NHS were present before the pandemic.
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