David Cameron has rejected an appeal to give the NHS more money based on the leave campaign’s pledge to put £350m a week into the service, even though the referendum revealed strong public backing for the move.
The British Medical Association had asked the prime minister to increase the health budget by even more than the £10bn already planned, given the referendum result.
In a letter to Cameron last week, Dr Mark Porter, the BMA’s chair of council, said that pro-Brexit campaigners’ promise of putting an extra £350m a week into the NHS – displayed prominently on the Vote Leave battlebus – “appeared fanciful at the time but the speed in which this commitment was reneged upon and proven to be a lie to the British public is a truly shameful state of affairs”.
However, Porter added: “With such a prominent campaign message proving to be successful at the ballot box, what cannot be disputed is the public’s eagerness to see increased funding for the NHS.
“The BMA calls on the government to make good on the promise made to the British public, and give the NHS the funding which it requires so that doctors can provide the service for patients which they deserve,” he added.
The Conservatives promised in last year’s election campaign to give the NHS in England £8bn more by 2020-21 on top of the £2bn extra it got in 2015-16.
Replying on the prime minister’s behalf at the weekend, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, admitted that the NHS is under strain but said Cameron’s successor would have to decide how much money it should receive.
Full story in The Guardian 3 July 2016