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MPs urge Government to set up commission to solve NHS funding crisis

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By lealegraien@cogora.com
26 March 2018

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Nearly a hundred MPs have called on the Government to set up a commission to tackle health and social care funding issues.

In a letter written on 23 March, 98 MPs urged Prime Minister Theresa May to set up a Parliamentary commission to look at health and social care current and future funding.

They wrote: ‘The system-wide pressures over recent weeks cannot be wholly attributed to ‘flu and the cold snap’.

Nearly a hundred MPs have called on the Government to set up a commission to tackle health and social care funding issues.

In a letter written on 23 March, 98 MPs urged Prime Minister Theresa May to set up a Parliamentary commission to look at health and social care current and future funding.

They wrote: ‘The system-wide pressures over recent weeks cannot be wholly attributed to ‘flu and the cold snap’.

‘They also reflect more serious underlying issues facing the NHS, public health and social care.

‘These systems are overstretched, poorly integrated and are no longer able to keep pace with rising demand and the cost pressures of new drugs and technologies.’

Political deadlock

The MPs argued that a political deadlock has prevented a ‘realistic approach to increasing resources’ to address current and long term NHS pressures.

One of the recommended funding options a Commission should look at is a ‘hypothecated tax or contribution’, they said.

They added: ‘There is an urgent need to take a whole system approach, including prevention, if we are to reduce future demand.

‘It will be vital to address wider pressures on the NHS and social care if we are to persuade the public of the need to contribute more and with fairness across the generations rather than this falling entirely on those of working age in employment.’

Hypothetical tax increase

When asked by Robert Peston on ITV on 25 March whether a special earmarked tax would be introduced to properly fund the NHS, Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘We are a tax payer funded system so in the end, if we’re going to get more resources into the NHS and social care system, it will have to come through the tax system and growth in the economy.’

Mr Hunt also said that the Sunday Times speculations – on the announcement of an extra £4bn a year of NHS funding over 10 years by Prime Minister Theresa May in July ­–  were ‘premature’.

A recent survey conducted by researchers at market research firm YouGov showed that more than half of the 20,000 respondents would be willing to pay more taxes to increase spending on the NHS.

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