"Now we know just how big the gap is between New Labour spin and the reality of how NHS patients are suffering" says Michael Fabricant
Following the Government’s big announcement yesterday that waiting lists have fallen to 100,000, Michael Fabricant says "Patients will not be impressed by the Government’s self-congratulation and hype. The reality is that the Government’s waiting list initiative has ensured that the sickest patients are waiting even longer, whilst minor operations are performed just to get the numbers down.
"Although the Government may have met its national targets on in-patient waiting lists in the West Midlands, the waiting list just to get onto the waiting list has risen by a staggering 56.1% since May 1997 according to the Government’s own statistics!
"Meanwhile, patients in South Staffordshire, including Lichfield and Burntwood, still suffer from ‘Post Code Treatment’ since 1997. One elderly patient in Burntwood has just been told he will have to wait 18 months for a cataract operation which would be performed within 4 months if only he lived in Sutton Coldfield. It really is time the Government realised that patients are not just statistics but real people, individuals who matter, with friends and family who care for them. Perhaps if they did, the maternity unit at the Victoria Hospital would not be under serious threat of closure".