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BMA: politicians must invest in NHS

Too much taxpayers' money is wasted on paying private companies rather than the NHS, according to a body of leading doctors.

Spending money more efficiently is one of the 10 New Year's resolutions of the British Medical Association (BMA), along with preventing cuts to frontline services, setting minimum alcohol unit prices and stopping people smoking.

Hamish Meldrum, BMA chairman, urged politicians to adopt the resolutions in order to improve the NHS, arguing that public investment would give better value for money and help more patients.

Dr Meldrum said: "The political parties have been grappling with the current financial crisis and cuts in the public sector are being proposed from 2010 onwards.

"The BMA is calling on politicians to resist the false economy of making quick savings by cutting frontline NHS services."

Dr Meldrum said the health service is running at full capacity and that the government should invest in training for its doctors.

"Recessions add to the burden on the NHS and the unexpected is always around the corner. The health service needs to be prepared for all eventualities", he said.

"Looking ahead to 2010, the BMA also wants the government to focus on wider public health issues including alcohol misuse, tobacco control and obesity."

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