As the NHS is “on its knees,” Keir Starmer has urged the government to be “responsible” and meet with health union leaders.
Keir Starmer said on ITV’s Peston Show on Monday night that there are “deep problems” within the NHS. Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said the NHS “mucked around” with him when he tried to get an appointment to check if his kidney cancer had gone away.
Wes Streeting was interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph and expressed his gratitude for the NHS workers who took care of him while also saying that the present NHS failings are unwarranted and that the health care system is no longer “the envy of the world.”
The British Medical Association (BMA), according to the health minister, treats him like “some kind of heretic” for bringing up the “appalling” levels of access to GPs.
Wes Streeting and 7.2 million other individuals are on the NHS waiting list at the time of publication of this report, and millions more are awaiting follow-up appointments.
Five million Britons may not be able to schedule a GP appointment, according to a report released by the Labour Party last week. This prompted the BMA’s GP committee to accuse Labour of “demonising GPs who are trying their best to deliver care.”
When challenged about Mr. Streeting’s remarks, Keir Starmer said that his shadow health secretary deserved to be defended and that the NHS needed to be reformed.
“I often say the NHS is on its knees, while most people working in the NHS say ‘no Keir, we’re on our face’”, he said.
“Waiting lists were too high before Covid, we’ve got staff shortages left right and centre and morale is at rock bottom.
“So there’s the stuff we need to do to rebuild the NHS, but let’s talk about what we need to do going forward.”
“We also need to reform, we need intervention, prevention and we need to change the model,” the Labour leader said.
“Yes, we need to give the NHS the support it needs, but also with an ageing society, we’re all living longer. This is a good thing, but we need to change the model to make sure that we reform the NHS as we go forward.”
The demand for reform in the NHS comes as over 100,000 nurses from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are scheduled to go on strike on Thursday over wage concerns at 76 hospitals and health organisations.
Keir Starmer said on LBC earlier this week that the RNC’s demand for a 19 percent pay raise was “more than the Government can afford,” but he urged them to “resolve” the present problem.
This week’s strike action is projected to result in the cancellation of some 15,000 operations.
The government must be “responsible,” according to Keir Starmer, who also said on Monday that union leaders must be spoken with.
He stated: “In the end, how is this going to end? It will end around the negotiating table. Do we do it this week before the strike or do we do it weeks and weeks down the line when so many people will have suffered because of the strike?
“I say, as a responsible Government, get off your hands, get in the negotiating room, talk this through between now and Wednesday.”