People are waiting longer and longer for a GP appointment in Plymouth. NHS staff are doing a superb job but we can't go on asking them to do more and more with less and less.
Some 600 fewer GP surgeries across England are open in the evening and at weekends compared to the time of the last election, new figures today show.
At the last election, David Cameron promised to open GP surgeries seven days a week but the reality is that millions more patients are unhappy with opening hours. It is now harder to get an appointment from Monday to Friday too.
One of Cameron’s first acts as Prime Minister was to cut Labour’s extended opening hours scheme and scrap our guarantee of an appointment within 48 hours. If David Cameron gets back in, his extreme spending cuts mean he can’t protect the NHS - and the queues outside GP surgeries will get even worse.
The NHS needs Labour's better plan for 8,000 more GPs, paid for with a £2.5 billion a year Time to Care fund, and guaranteed appointments within 48 hours. That will help people in Plymouth see a GP quicker and have their operation happen faster. The NHS is so important for people in Plymouth and there is a very real choice on offer at this election.
I want to see an end to NHS privatisation but my Tory opponent sees nothing wrong with the private sector running NHS services. I think the priority of the NHS should be patients not profit. If elected I will vote to scrap the law introduced by the Tory and Lib Dem Coalition that allows for privatisation in our health service.
I know from speaking to hundreds of people in Plymouth that the NHS is hugely valued but that people are waiting longer and longer for a GP appointment, to be seen at A&E and for operations. It is time we had a government that put patients not profits first - vote Labour on 7 May.