Under Labour, the NHS has seen an average increase in resources of 6.7 per cent each year since 1999.
The Labour Party manifesto aims to build on this firm foundation by giving patients legally enforceable guarantees.
The first of these came into effect on 1 April 2010: if your GP suspects that you may have cancer you are guaranteed to see a specialist in two weeks. Labour will add to this, guaranteeing diagnostic tests for cancer in one week. Treatment will be guaranteed to start within 18 weeks of seeing a GP, otherwise the NHS will fund a private alternative.
The NHS is a world-class health service, however Labour wants to improve its capacity for preventative care. This emphasis on preventative medicine can be seen in the ambitious project Change 4 Life which aims to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Further to this, regular health checks will be guaranteed for people between the ages of 40 and 74, which could help prevent as many as 10,000 heart attacks and strokes every year.
Labour will aim to make it easier for people to access the NHS services by expanding the availability of GP led health centers which are open 7 days a week from ’8 til 8′.
People will be able to register with a GP anywhere they choose, including near their work if that makes accessing NHS services easier, while a national ’111′ telephone will be introduced making it easier to access and book non-emergency medical services.
The full details of all Labour’s manifesto pledges can be found on the manifesto section of the website.