General Election: Weston-super-Mare's candidates' views on… healthcare
PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:31 23 May 2017
The Mercury asked its readers what issues they care the most about, and what will affect how they vote in the General Election on June 8. Healthcare was at the top of the list for many, here's what Weston-super-Mare's parliamentary candidates have to say on the issue…
Conservative candidate John Penrose
“We’re finally getting our fair share of health cash. Bristol used to grab most of it, leaving Weston as a poor relation. I started demanding answers from Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister so I’m delighted we’ve finally won.
“The draft plans for Weston hospital’s future look good for almost every department apart from casualty, where there are still rival plans and questions to be answered. I won’t stop until they are.”
UKIP candidate Helen Hims
“Our ageing population, the dramatic increase of people suffering long-term chronic conditions, and uncontrolled immigration have all put unsustainable pressure on our health & social care systems. To keep the NHS efficient, affordable and free at the point of delivery, front-line services need urgent and substantial investment, and vital links must be formed between health and social care.
“UKIP will bring overseas spending down to 0.2 per cent GNI, and will spend the savings provided on addressing this urgent and worsening situation.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Bell
“On the Conservative’s watch, political interference in our NHS has got out of control and instead of seeing improvements we have seen hospital debts pile up. That means fewer GPs, pharmacy closures and Weston’s accident and emergency unit at risk.
“The Liberal Democrats have proposed putting a penny in the pound on income tax to raise the funds the NHS needs. That’s an honest approach – action is needed and we’re up front about how to pay for it.”
Green Party candidate Suneil Basu
“The NHS is being privatised, and unless we stop it while the state will still fund it, the money will increasingly be funnelled into the pockets of private business rather than the running of hospitals and medical practices. I would fight to re-nationalise the NHS and make sure it was properly funded.
“As a Green MP I would encourage the introduction of a four-day week to get more productive, healthier population with time to look after themselves and the health of their family.”
Labour Party candidate Tim Taylor
“It’s vital that we protect and improve health services as Weston’s population grows and we also have a higher percentage of elderly people than the national average.
“One of my key pledges is to fight for fairer funding for Weston General Hospital and the restoration of 24/7 Dr support at A&E.
“I’m also concerned about pressure on GP surgeries and low investment in public health. Working with parents and young people on health education now could save millions in the future.”