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Political choices caused shortages, says BMA chief

Is healthcare workers’ disillusionment damaging healthcare?

British Medical Association chair Dr Mark Porter has warned members that shortages of beds, doctors and lengthening queues for treatment are the result of an explicit political choice.

Speaking at the BMA’s annual conference, Dr Porter said that the government had chosen to spend a smaller proportion of the country’s gross domestic product on health than other leading economies.

He was also critical of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs), which he described as ’44 grim little manifestos’.

Looking at the implications of Brexit, Dr Porter shared the results of a BMA survey showing that 42% of doctors who qualified in another EEA country had decided to leave the UK following the referendum.

He also expressed disappointment about health promotion strategies. He said that even the simplest ways of promoting good health had been run aground and that there had not been a tobacco strategy since 2015.

Further information

BMA: ‘It doesn’t have to be this way’ – Mark Porter’s ARM speech in 10 quotes