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[英伦广角] 2015-05-23 英国护士因不满加班工资待遇或将举行大罢工

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A statement of intent from the Prime Minister -- the first speech of his second term at Birmingham GP surgery and promised to fund and transform the NHS by 2020 into a seven-day operation.

“Diseases don’t work week days nine to five, and so neither can we.”

Those election accusations that he would cut and privatize the NHS? “Untrue”, argues the P.M. In fact, he says, he will find eight billion pounds a year to provide free healthcare wherever and whenever it’s needed.

“Today as we speak, about 7.5 million people have access eight in the morning until eight in the evening. Seven days a week to a GP. That’ll be 18 million by the end of this year and we want to have that available for everybody by the end of the parliament. And that is in our plans and in the money we are providing. And I’m confident we will achieve it.”

The surgery is in a partnership that was given funding for high-tech general practice by the P.M.’s challenge fund.

“What you do notice is that very few people waiting in the waiting room. This is one reason the concept center called the health hub. Here 17,000 patients cost 15 GP surgeries I doubt with in a new way. This is another reason the app, the app helps to connect and manage those appointments, a new thing here. And lastly, this -- Skype consultations mentioned by the Prime Minister, part of many types of technology that the Prime Minister says will transform the NHS starting with GP surgeries. But is he raising expectations too high with this promise of 7-day service? And where is the funding?”

Nurses could go on strike at the 7-day plans, and even the man in charge of NHS in England sounded a note of caution with the P.M. in the audience.

“We’ll also need careful and disciplined phasing with our ambition to expand our services, be it improving cancer care, mental health, primary care, all of the things we want to do, including 7-day services.”

Meanwhile, patients are adjusting to this new world of virtual GPs. But challenges remain on GP recruitment.

“Workload is a major issue and I think what we found is by scaling up, you can start to use different healthcare professionals to sort of service some of the exact issues of pharmacists, introducing nurses and into the models as well. Not every patient needs to see a GP. But by introducing other healthcare professionals, maybe that will help address some of the workload issues.”

The P.M. also told Sky News there was no need for another top-down NHS reorganization, but it’s now raising big expectations about health for the public, so things are far easier to promise than to deliver, though that is his challenge.

Faisal Islam, Sky News, in Birmingham.
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