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Politicians 'using NHS to win votes'

Politicians 'using NHS to win votes'

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Politicians have been designing health policy to win votes, rather than to improve the NHS three quarters of the public believe. 

A poll commissioned for the British Medical Association (BMA) showed that two-thirds (66%) of the public think doctors should have a greater say in how the NHS is run. 

And a similar amount (65%) believe the NHS could manage itself, without the involvement of politicians. 

Almost half (46%) of those polled thought that politicians should have low or no involvement in how the NHS is run. 

Only one in three (33%) believe Parliament should set targets for the NHS, the survey carried out by Ipsos MORI found. 

The BMA is calling for political parties to put patient care over winning votes, and to allow doctors to lead the delivery of patient care. 

Dr Mark Porter, chair of BMA council said that patient care is taking a back seat to political point scoring. 

He said that enforced targets and "headline grabbing policy initiatives" are done to win votes. 

Dr Porter said: “The government promised to remove micromanagement from the NHS and yet the opposite has happened. 

“A year out from the next election, we’re already seeing politicians lining up politically motivated, not clinically driven changes to GP services. Demands to offer appointments within 48-hours, or to increase access to seven days a week might look good on a leaflet but they don’t address the challenges that have left GPs struggling to deliver the care, time and appointments their patients need.

“Doctors want to see politics taken out of the NHS once and for all.  It is clear that the public feel the same way. Yes, politicians should be accountable for the running of the NHS, but when it comes to decisions on patient care it is time to allow doctors to do what they do best - lead the delivery of high quality patient care.”

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