The NHS winter crisis has seen Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt come under heavy fire. He was expected to lose his job in the cabinet reshuffle of 8 January, but reportedly refused to go. Now, a threat to key cancer treatments should see the pressure resume.
Cut after cut
Hunt was appointed Health Secretary by ex-PM David Cameron in 2012. Since assuming office, he has overseen crisis after crisis. And statistics are damning. According to a study by the British Medical Journal, Tory austerity policies caused an additional 120,000 deaths between 2010 and 2017.
Despite this, Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her party’s NHS record.
Chemotherapy cycles to go?
According to a leaked memo from Churchill Hospital in Oxford, chemotherapy cycles are the latest treatments to come “under threat”. The memo described a chronic shortage of qualified cancer nurses at the hospital. This is due to a combination of low pay and the high cost of living in the area. Thanks to government policy, nurses have laboured under a pay cap for seven years.
Written by Dr Andrew Weaver, the memo explained that:
As a consequence we are having to delay chemotherapy patients’ starting times to four weeks
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Weaver’s suggestions make for chilling reading, especially for those who may require cancer care in the near future. But NHS trust directors have assured patients that Weaver’s memo “does not represent a change to our formal policy for chemotherapy treatment”.
Despite that, the fact that a senior doctor expresses himself in such terms is a damning indictment of Austerity Britain. Under the Tories, it has become a nation where profit and cost-cutting are valued higher than people; and where even the most essential services are under threat.
– Read more Canary articles about the NHS here.
– Join us so we can continue to bring you the news that matters.
Featured image via David Mirzoeff
Do your bit for independent journalism
Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.
We need you to help out, if you can.
When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.
You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.
In return you get:
- Advert free reading experience
- Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
- 20% discount from our shop