Introduction by Dr Alex Ashman, junior doctor and NHA co-leader.
The National Health Action Party was founded on the principles of public service and accountable democracy. We believe our public services should reflect our sense of national identity and social cohesion. They should be publicly owned, publicly delivered, and publicly accountable.
This election comes at a key moment in the history of our nation. Over the last 7 years we have seen public services cut across the board. Policing, education, transport, health, and social care have suffered. This has affected us all, either personally or through friends and family.
The NHS now faces a shortfall in funding of tens of billions, leading to a genuine humanitarian crisis in A&Es this past winter. Now plans are being brought in to permanently reshape our NHS, in the form of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships. These plans are based upon the rationing of care and closure of local services in order to make the NHS ‘financially sustainable’.
On the back of this comes ‘accountable care’, a US model of healthcare being promoted by the government and NHS England CEO Simon Stevens. Plans for ‘accountable care’ are already being made by STP leaders, and the first £6bn contract has already gone out to international tender. The organisations tasked with outsourcing the NHS are now themselves being handed over to private firms. And yet there is little, if any, mainstream debate of these plans – the very opposite of accountability. These changes are being brought in by stealth, with no explanation as to their purpose.
We want an honest and open debate on how our NHS and public services are run. We want the public to be given the facts so they can make an informed choice as to who runs their country.
Our manifesto lays out what we believe are the key themes necessary to restore our public services, our democracy, and our country. We want to see excellent education, health and support services providing the foundation for a strong economy. Above all, we want an NHS that puts people before profits.
This is the General Election that will decide the future of the NHS. Please make your vote count. I want a system that works for all. I hope you do too.
Dr Alex Ashman, May 2017