Britain's Conservative, Labour announce NHS spending pledges

GMT 02:42 2015 Sunday ,12 April

Arab Today, arab today Britain's Conservative, Labour announce NHS spending pledges

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
London - XINHUA

Both Britain's Conservatives Party and Labor Party Saturday announced their National Health Service (NHS) spending pledges, adding fuel in the row on the country's flagship healthcare system reform as the general election is approaching.

The Conservatives said it plans to spend an extra 8 billion pounds (around 11.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the NHS by 2020 if they win the election on May 7.

The party stressed that it was "absolutely confident" it could fund the five-year scheme, as the British economy has been turned around.

Speaking on BBC's program on Saturday, British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said the 8 billion pounds was in addition to an extra 2 billion pounds committed to the NHS at last year's Autumn Statement, the government's half-year budget report.

Labor, however, is pledging one-to-one midwife care for woman giving birth. The measure requires additional 3,000 midwives, with an extra 2.5 billion pounds a year raised for the NHS.

The Labor party noted that its promises would be funded from an expected annual pot that includes revenue from proposed "mansion tax", the closure of tax loopholes, as well as a levy on tobacco.

In 2013, the National Audit Office said in a report that an extra 2,300 midwives were needed so as to meet a widely recognized benchmark of one midwife to 29.5 births.

Responsing to Labor's plan, spokesman from the Conservatives said the coalition government, formed by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2010, had recruited more than 2,100 midwives during their tenure. (1 pound = 1.46 U.S. dollars)

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