'It's a tragedy': Sir Michael Marmot accuses the government of 'maliciously undermining' the NHS

19 April 2023, 07:14

Professor Sir Michael Marmot: We have seen fall of the NHS since 2010

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Professor Sir Michael Marmot made it clear that there has been a progressive decline in the NHS since 2010, and that this was not something to be blamed purely on the pandemic.

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, he said: "If you had the hypothesis that the government was seeking to destroy the National Health Service...all the data that we're seeing are consistent with that hypothesis.

"They may say 'no, no, no, no, that's not what we're seeking to do', but if you look from 2010, waiting lists started to increase - not just the pandemic, not just the war in Ukraine - from 2010", he reiterated.

Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London explained how pre-2010 "waiting lists came down, satisfaction with the NHS was high, spending on the NHS went up at about 3.8% every year".

He contrasted it with the post-2010 drop in funding of around a "1% increase per year".

"Waiting lists started to climb and climb and climb, 150,000 vacancies for doctors and nurses, failure to pay doctors and nurses properly - it's a recipe for making the NHS fall over", he stated.

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"Are we stumbling or sleepwalking towards a privatised health care system do you think?" Andrew asked.

The professor, who also advised the WHO Director-General, answered: "That's why I say if you have the hypothesis that this was a sort of malicious undermining of the NHS, the data we're seeing are consistent with the hypothesis.

"I have no special insight into what motivates ministers, but they're not behaving as if they want to preserve our NHS."

He also explained how the Commonwealth Fund's regular comparisons of health care systems in 11 countries showed that "the NHS always used to be number 1, and equity of access, number 1 - the best performer".

"We're slipping down the rankings. It's a tragedy", he concluded.