The NHS is a national treasure and something that this Government and I are passionate about; it is vital that the NHS is protected from increasing costs.
I am delighted therefore that the Prime Minister has announced that the NHS in England is to get an extra £20 billion a year, in real terms, by the 2023/2024 financial year. This means that the NHS budget will now start to rise by an average of 3.4% annually. This is great news to mark 70 years since the creation of the NHS in 1948.
The Conservatives in Government have long been committed to ensuring that the NHS has the funding it needs with the current Health Department spending at over £120 billion, the highest it has ever been.
This announcement reiterates our strong commitment. The Prime Minister has announced that some of this extra funding will come from the savings that we will gain from leaving the EU. Currently we pay vast sums of money for membership of the EU and once we have left we will invest some of that money into the NHS. Indeed, the Prime Minister’s announcement means that there will be about £600 million a week more, in cash terms, into the NHS.
This five-year funding plan will mean certainty in funding for the NHS and our plans have already been praised by the independent Chief Executive of NHS England who said “this multi-year settlement provides the funding we need to shape a long-term plan for key improvements in cancer, mental health and other critical services.”
As Jeremy Hunt MP, the longest serving Health Secretary ever, has said; the NHS is the living embodiment of British values such as decency, fairness and compassion. All of us will have relied, or know someone who has relied, on the NHS and the organisation is there for us all like no other. This is why I fully support allocating to the NHS this huge extra sum of £20 billion.