Doctors rather than politicians should run the NHS as the political parties only set targets and make promises to win votes instead of what is in patients' best interests, a survey has found. Three quarters of people believe the main political parties design health policy in order to win votes rather than what is in the best interests of the NHS or patients, it was found.
The survey of almost 2,000 people was commissioned by the British Medical Association (BMA) and released on the opening day of its annual conference in Harrogate. With just under a year until the next General Election, the BMA is calling for all political parties to put patient care over winning votes. The poll found that the majority of the public believe that it is doctors, rather than politicians or NHS managers, who should have the most involvement in the decisions about the day to day running of the NHS.
The Ipsos MORI new survey found two thirds of the public are in favour of doctors having a greater say in how the NHS is run.
Almost half thought that politicians should have low or no involvement in how the NHS is run and one in three agree that Parliament should set overall targets for the NHS. The day to day running of the NHS is now governed by NHS England, which is supposed to be separate from Parliament and the Department of Health but doctors say that even this is being manipulated for political gain.
Dr Mark Porter, chairman of BMA Council, said: “The NHS remains one of the most politicised public services in the UK. Whether it is the targets forced on doctors, GP appointments that are more about box-ticking than clinical care, or short term, headline grabbing policy initiatives – all of these are being done for political expediency and to win votes. As a result, patient care is taking a back seat to scoring points over the dispatch box.
“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.”
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "Our reforms cut unnecessary red tape and gave doctors and nurses, who know their patients best, the power and freedom to make decisions in the best interests of their local community."
Source: The Telegraph