The first political monitor of Ipsos Mori at the beginning of the year did reveal the emergence of healthcare as the dominant issue potentially influencing 46% of the voters during the next General Elections. Various NHS centred accusations have surfaced along the campaigns so far, a hint towards the acknowledgment by most leaders of the potentially decisive role of health and social care issues.
The Guardian revealed recently that the Tories were accused of being 'desperate' after seeking doctors' support to not use NHS issues as a political football in upcoming elections. These accusations are the latest in a series revolving around the NHS and health issues. During the leaders' debate on the 2nd of April 2015, David Cameron accused Ed Miliband to seek to 'weaponise' the NHS in order to score political points.
While the NHS has been absent from the Conservative Party manifesto, Jeremy Hunt promised to review efficiency if he was to remain Health Secretary. However, in terms of funding, David Cameron kept his distance, stating that the amount of funding would likely depend on the savings from efficiencies. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister has pledged his commitment to a 7 days NHS services along with £1.25 billions to mental health services.
However, the Conservatives are facing much challenge as both the Labour and Green Party have pledged to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Indeed, the reforms, which resulted in top-down reorganisation of the NHS services, have been subject of controversies and allegations of 'chaos'. Furthermore, the Green Party has pledged to fight privatisation and work toward a 'Public NHS'.
The Labour Party is committed to guarantee GP's appointment within 48 hours, as well as integrating all three elements of physical, mental and social care into a 'whole person care' without any major reorganising.
Finally, both the Liberal Democrats and UKIP have made the NHS one of the top five priorities. Also, the Liberal Democrats Party is the only one that has pledged to commit itself to the NHS £8 billions a year funding target as called for in the NHS Five Years Forward View.
With such a variety of important health and social care issues at stake, the NHS has indeed been at the centre of these General Elections. The surfacing of various NHS centred accusations between parties and leaders are giving a hint that the ballot day is approaching and campaigning is heating up with the acknowledgement that the electorate is likely to opt for the most attracting health policies. #Election 2015