CONTROVERSIAL NHS re-organisation will cost Wigan’s health services more than £22m next year, it was claimed today.
That is the shock figure that will have to be set aside from the borough’s annual PCT health service budget in readiness for introduction of the Government’s scheme.
It was discovered by borough MPs Lisa Nandy and Yvonne Fovargue. They are no demanding that the Prime Minister step back from the proposals which have been criticised by some in the medical profession for potentially creating a two tier NHS, a rise in waiting times and opening sections of the NHS up to privatisation.
The MPs’ staff found the financial request in the Government’s new NHS ‘Operating Framework’ document and takes the nationwide cost of the NHS reorganisation above previous estimates of £2-3bn, with Primary Care Trusts being told to hold back £3.44bn over two years.
Makerfield’s Yvonne Fovargue said that the figures show the Government’s reorganisation is costing the NHS much more than first feared.
She said: “It is scandalous that they are telling our local NHS to hold back millions of pounds for their plans while thousands of nursing jobs are being axed. Our area has already seen a 40 per cent increase in the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment since Cameron became Prime Minister. Spending this on an unnecessary reorganisation is unjustifiable when every single penny should be focused on care.”
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said doctors have voted to call for an immediate halt to the Government’s costly and controversial Health Bill.
This year’s PCT budget was £573m while the Government will announce next year’s settlement later this month.
She said: “The people of Wigan did not vote for it and our doctors, nurses and patients have already expressed huge concerns at the plans, yet Cameron is ploughing on with his Health Bill, ignoring public and professional opinion.”
They are now urging the residents across Wigan concerned about the changes to add their name to the Government online petition by Dr Kailash Chand at epetitions.direct.gov.uk
Chairman of Wigan’s Adult Health and Wellbeing Committee, Ashton Coun Nigel Ash said: “The time has come for the Prime Minister to listen, put the NHS first and drop his dangerous Bill.”
A spokesman for Ashton, Leigh and Wigan NHS didn’t want to comment.