Key facts you need to know about the NHS

In the run up to the election, thousands of 38 Degrees members are hitting the streets and making phone calls to save our NHS. We’re gathering signatures on local Save Our NHS petitions and talking to people about why it’s important to vote to protect our NHS from privatisation and funding squeezes this election.

Remember you don’t have to be an expert to talk about our NHS. Talk about your experience of the NHS and why it’s important to you. Talk about why a health service that’s free at the point of delivery is important, and ask people what kind of a world they want to live in. You could talk about how a health care system should be focused on saving lives, not making money.

In case you want a few facts at your fingertips, here are the top three facts you might find useful when talking to people about our NHS:

  • In 2012 the government made big changes to the NHS through the Health and Social Care Act. Since these changes have come into force, a third of all NHS contracts have gone to private firms. [1]

  • Government funding cuts to social care and GP surgeries has led to thousands of patients taking up hospital beds because they cannot access care in the community. [2]

  • 26 countries – including France and the Netherlands – spend more on their health care than the UK. And every year billions of pounds is lost from corporations and wealthy individuals not paying their fair share of tax in the UK. If our politicians cracked down on tax dodging, we could afford to fund our health service properly. [3]

Sources:
[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30397329
[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/english-aes-reach-breaking-point-after-worstever-week-9936870.html
http://www.channel4.com/news/accident-emergency-nhs-gp-shortage-government-intervention
[3] http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/09/22/new-report-the-tax-gap-is-119-4-billion-and-rising/
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fatcat-fund-managers-dodge-700million-5187932
http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3063