Last month, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) chiefs pledged to start cutting patient care if Chancellor Rishi Sunak failed to allocate $11 billion for the NHS in order to cover extra COVID-19 costs.
David Nicholson, former head of the UK’s National Health Service, has warned of far-reaching consequences of the backlog of medical care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The backlog is truly frightening. We can very easily get to the next election with people waiting over two years. It’s easy to do that”, Nicolson told The Guardian on Friday.
The ex-NHS boss was referring to a drastic rise in the number of those who’ve waited at least a year for vital operations since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to Nicolson, the delays related to getting treatment in the UK may pose risks to patients’ health and become one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s worst headaches.
“The whole issue of access [to care] is a greater threat to the NHS than privatisation because poor access undermines confidence amongst those people who fund the service – taxpayers”, Nicolson argued.
He also expressed сoncern over the dismal situation with the so-called “priority two” or “P2” patients, who currently need to undergo urgent cancer or heart surgery.