In remarks to UKIP Assembly candidates, UKIP’s Northern Ireland Leader, David McNarry MLA, was highly critical of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“Jeremy Hunt’s handling of the junior doctors’ pay dispute is both inept and reeks of the kind of political dishonesty and chicanery which gives politics a bad name. If Mr. Hunt wants a 7 day NHS, then he has to fund it properly. There is no other way to achieve this. If the present NHS is not ‘7 day’ as Hunt maintains, though I strongly dispute this, and only operates on 5 days a week, then, logically Hunt needs to find an additional £40 for every £100 he spends at the minute to cover the 2 extra days.
That does not even take into account overtime costs which would be significantly higher. This would mean that the total NHS budget of £100 billion for the current year would need to be increased to £140 billion – an extra £40 billion.”
“It would be bad enough for Hunt to trade on the sense of vocation most doctors feel, but he has gone away beyond that by trying to blame junior doctors working practices for weekend deaths. What is this man’s real objective? I believe it is to dismantle the NHS. A pamphlet he co-authored for the Conservatives argued that the NHS could be replaced by an insurance system, though he now denies holding these views. If he is not careful, this is what he will end up with and he will suddenly discover at that point that he cannot afford to pay the doctors for contracted services. The Tories should take note – if they destroy the health service the British people will never forgive them.”