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NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE POLICY

General

We believe in a truly National Health Service providing:

  • a comprehensive and geographically equal level of health care from the cradle to the grave.

  • a wide range of treatments from both small local hospitals, which will be preserved, to large centres of excellence.

  • Cutting bureaucracy wherever possible and injecting finance saved by withdrawal from the EU will allow waiting lists to be reduced, while older people will have their treatment restored.

Practice

There has been a constant state of change in the NHS for a long period, with the latest changes being implemented in April 1999. The DP will consolidate and develop the good practices from this period, to avoid disruptive revolution.

  • Local hospitals - maintain and improve quality for communities and achieve reductions in travel.

  • Ensure equal access for all to family doctors, opticians, dentists and pharmacists.

  • Maintain and improve local services, eg chiropody, health visiting, audiology, ante-natal care, speech and language therapy and physiotherapy and ambulance services.

  • Develop more specialist units for the treatment of particular types of illness, e.g. cancer or kidney disease.

  • Mental Health care will be reviewed and changed to protect both patient and public. 'Care in the Community' will apply only to well proven low risk patients.

  • Prescription charges and updated processing system to prevent fraudulent claims by some pharmacists.

  • Tax relief on Medical Insurance for the over 60s will be re-instated.

  • Foreign students and visitors will be charged at normal commercial rates.
  • Improve NHS/SS co-operation to provide treatment and support as needed.

  • Improve links between hospitals, social and local police services to deal with security problems, mental health, protection of children.

Debate

Issues for national debate will include:

  • Pay and recruitment of all health service personnel.
  • Which treatments should be available relative to need and cost.
  • Discussion on ethical issues relative to scientific advances.
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