The news last week that the delays and target failures in the NHS are substantially worse than ever before is regrettably, unsurprising.
Dr Rachel Clarke has pointed out that since the Conservatives have been in government, surgical waiting lists have soared to 4.4 million; district nurses have been culled by 50%; 15,000 hospital beds have been closed and cancer waits are the worst on record. The NHS is now short of 43,000 nurses & 10,000 doctors. And we aren’t training enough of either to keep any sort of lid on natural wastage.
Conservative government has, on an ideological basis, simply refused to invest. They have frozen pay for years, abolished the nursing bursary and put a cap on visas for foreign workers at a time when EU migrants are just going home.
The remaining NHS staff are under greater pressure than ever before. Is it any wonder that there were 430 doctor & 300 nurse suicides in the last 7 years?
Then the Conservatives, amazingly as an election pledge, announce a proposed increased National Health charge for immigrants. This is just the hostile environment all over again. There was no charge in 2014, £200 in 2015, £400 from 2018 and now it is proposed to put it up to £620 in 2020 – including unbelievably – for NHS staff. How kind. And who is supposed to enforce this charge? Why the NHS itself including the doctors themselves of course.
That all amounts to charges of £3,125 to be paid upfront for a five-year immigration stay on top of fees of £1,220 for a tier 2 skilled visa – naturally the price does not include dependants.
Is this a recipe for enticing the “brightest in best”? Or just the people with the money to pay?
And when these people have jobs don’t they pay their taxes in order to be a proper part of society? At least, even if it’s a bit expensive, I’m sure they will have heard what a gloriously welcoming country Tory Britain has now become.
The Conservatives must be proud of such purposeful and epic mismanagement.
Not just studiedly and disastrously negligent but on a real Trump-like scale of bigly negligent…