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Labour's NHS plans 'far too weak', only Greens offer a 'bold solution' - Molly Scott Cato

Molly Scott Cato, MEP for the South West and the Green Party candidate for Bristol West, has today criticised the Labour Party for not being bold enough in its plans to rescue the NHS from a funding crisis imposed on it by seven years of Conservative and Coalition mismanagement. 

Labour has today promised a pause on secretive NHS sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) [1], which look set to force the closure of 19 hospitals [2], see scores of A&E departments axed or downgraded [3] and result in the loss of vital maternity care services in regions across England [4].

Molly Scott Cato attacked the plans for being 'far too weak' to restore a properly funded, truly public health service. The bookies favourite to take the Bristol West seat from Labour on June 8 [5] used the announcement to re-iterate the Green Party's 'bold' pledge [6] to scrap the Trident nuclear weapons programme and divert the estimated £205bn cost to our NHS [7]. 

Molly said:

"Labour's proposal to re-think secretive so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans is welcome, but it is far too weak and will do little to reverse the Conservatives' destructive plans. Similarly, its promise to 'properly fund' our NHS is admirable, but lacking in detail."

"Only the Green Party is offering a bold and effective solution to the NHS funding crisis. By scrapping the multi-billion pound nuclear monstrosity that is Trident we can afford to give our NHS the emergency kiss of life it so desperately needs."

The Labour Party is still committed to the Conservatives' plans to renew the Trident weapons programme, despite Jeremy Corbyn making it repeatedly clear that he would not use the weapon of mass destruction [8].

Molly continued:

"NHS spending under the Conservative government is at its lowest since the 1950s [9] and, at the same time, the service has been asked to make £22bn worth of cuts [10]. Cuts which researchers have found to be responsible for 30,000 excess deaths a year [11]."

"STPs will see thousands of hospital beds slashed across the country [12], cutting NHS capacity by more than 5 million patients every year. In Bristol, the plans [13], which were only revealed after pressure from healthcare campaigners, will see £139m of cuts to local healthcare services and a further £104m of as yet unspecified cuts."

"The NHS is being systematically underfunded and needs an urgent and significant cash injection. Yet Labour is still committed to wasting billions of pounds on a nuclear weapons system Jeremy Corbyn has admitted he would never use." 

"Voters are being offered a choice between Tory strike-first nuclear fanaticisms and Labour’s HMS Pointless. Meanwhile, people are being treated in corridors while we flush money away on nuclear weapons. Cancelling Trident would give our NHS more than £3bn per year."

“Greens are saying it's time to put our NHS first. Real security means having a world-class health service, not locking ourselves into replacing these weapons we’ll never use.”

The Green Party is also united in its commitment to the NHS Reinstatement Bill and the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which forced a commercialised model on the NHS in England [14]. 

ENDS

 

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