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Who will get your vote? Health policy roundup

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As the general election looms, IN rounds up the key health policies of the major parties.

Conservatives

Health candidate: Jeremy Hunt MP, health secretary and MP for South West Surrey since 2005

Key policies:

1. Continue to protect the NHS budget until 2020, with real-terms increases each year.

2. 5000 more GPs to be trained by 2020.

3. Invest an extra £1.25bn in mental health services by 2020.

4. GP surgeries to open between 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

5. Cap redundancy payments to NHS and other public sector staff at £95,000, except for those earning less than £27,000 a year.

Labour

Health candidate: Andy Burnham MP, health secretary June 2009 to May 2010 and MP for Leigh, Greater Manchester since 2001.

Key policies:

1. Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours.

2. Repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

3. Integrate health and social care.

4. End the disparity between physical and mental healthcare.

5. Provide 20,000 more nurses, 3000 midwives, 8000 GPs and 5000 homecare workers by 2025.

Liberal Democrats

Health candidate: Norman Lamb MP, minister for care and MP for North Norfolk since 2001

Key policies:

1. Invest £400m into early support for mental health problems.

2. Provide 6000 more doctors.

3. Introduce a cap on the cost of social care.

4. Plug the £8bn NHS funding gap by 2020.

5. Give access to cancer drugs to 30,000 more people.

UKIP

Health candidate: Louise Bours, MEP for North West England

Key policies:

1. Invest £3bn in frontline services.

2. £1bn a year for elderly social care.

3. Scrap tuition fees for student nurses.

4. Merge health and social care.

5. Ensure that all overseas patients have NHS-approved private health insurance before they are allowed access to the country.

Green Party

Health candidate: Dr Jillian Creasy, worked as a GP in Sheffield for 25 years and is the party candidate for Sheffield Central

Key policies:

1. Maintain a publicly funded, publicly provided health service.

2. Abolish prescription charges, and reintroduce free eye tests and NHS dental treatment for all.

3. End private healthcare.

4. Tax public health issues such as alcohol and tobacco to increase NHS funding by 1.2% per year in real terms.

5. Create local community health centres that provide services such as out-of-hours care, which are an additional tier of healthcare instead of a replacement for GPs.

Scottish National Party

Health Spokesman: Alex Neil MSP

Key policies:

1. Deliver an 18-week referral to treatment standard.

2. More flexible access to healthcare.

3. One-stop cancer diagnosis.

4. Expanding the Scottish health budget by £826 million.

Plaid Cymru

Health candidate: Elin Jones, Welsh shadow minister for health and wellbeing

Key policies:

1. End the disparity between mental and physical health services.

2. More clinical trials and research.

3. Full integration of NHS services.

4. Improved availability of diagnostics for cancers and chronic conditions.

5. Increase the number of district and community nurses.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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