Northern Ireland set for boost of £600m from NHS funding increase

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 18, 2018

The Government says the NHS is to get an extra £384m a week after Brexit.

The sharp intervention came after the PM has said the NHS will receive an additional £20 billion a year in real terms funding by 2024, meaning a weekly increase of £384 million in real terms, and £600 million a week in cash terms compared with now.

The Prime Minister will claim that funding will come in part from a "Brexit dividend" because the United Kingdom will no longer be paying huge sums for European Union membership.

Asked where the non-"Brexit dividend" element of the funding would come, May said: "As a country we will be contributing more, a bit more, but also we will have that sum of money that is available from the European Union".

On what the percentage increase would be over five years, the PM said: "It may vary a little from year to year, but it's about 3.4% average across the period".

Coming in at £384 million extra a week, it trumps the controversial £350 million a week increase promised by the now infamous red Leave campaign buses during the European Union referendum.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "As the Prime Minister announces a historic long-term funding boost and 10-year plan for the health service, we are backing the NHS to show the world what a cutting-edge 21st century healthcare system can look like too".

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However, it was also unclear how much of the money would be "frontloaded" and how much be only be delivered towards the end of the five-year spending plan, to start next April.

"As a pure, sort of arithmetic point of view, over this period, there's no money".

What kind of cash injection is the NHS getting?

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: 'The NHS is in crisis after eight years of Tory cuts and privatisation. Today's announcement confirms that Theresa May has failed to give the NHS the funding it needs, and much of the funding announced today is based on wishful thinking. Extra taxes and borrowing will likely be needed.

Theresa May said the country could not afford to wait until Easter before making an announcement on a new funding deal for the NHS.

Commons Health Committee chairwoman Sarah Wollaston said she was sad to see the Government "slide to populist arguments" as people were being "treated like fools". "She won't stand up to vested interests and is instead asking patients to rely on a hypothetical Brexit dividend". This multi-year settlement provides the funding we need to shape a long-term plan for key improvements in cancer, mental health and other critical services. "This will make it harder to have a rational debate about the 'who & how" of funding & sharing this fairly'.

"And the invitation to the NHS to develop consensus proposals for legislation will help accelerate the move to more integrated care, and ensure taxpayers' money is spent to maximum benefit".

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