Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicopolitical Digest

Consultants warn of continuing NHS crisisLabour proposes hospital trouble shootersReview body report 1997

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:523

Consultants warn of continuing NHS crisis

Senior hospital doctors have warned that there are still serious problems in the hospital service caused mainly by underfunding.

The chairman of the BMA's consultants committee, Mr James Johnson, told a press briefing last week that both the main political parties continued to maintain that Britain could provide a comprehensive health service without committing more money. This was untrue, insisted Mr Johnson, who is a vascular surgeon in Runcorn. “There will be a downward spiral each year until someone decides to take chunks out of the NHS or to put more money in.”

He referred to the “human misery” caused by the lack of beds to deal with emergencies. Reporting that one patient recently had to wait on a trolley for 36 hours in Whipps Cross Hospital, he said: “This is the stuff of Third World medicine.” Despite the fact that it was difficult to find space to put up extra beds in modern …

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