Rishi Sunak trying to shift the blame to the doctors

BBC Nick Triggle, Health Correspondent

The government’s target to reduce the hospital waiting list in England is in doubt, the prime minister has admitted.

Rishi Sunak told BBC News it would be ‘very hard’ to reduce the waiting list by next March as promised, pinning the blame on the strikes by doctors.

Latest figures show a record 7.68 million people were waiting for treatment at the end of July.

This represents nearly one in seven people and is a jump of more than 100,000 in a month.

The prime minister told BBC News it was ‘disappointing’ the waiting list was growing.

‘Industrial action is a significant cause of that,’ he said.

‘We were making very good progress before industrial action.

‘With industrial action, it’s very hard to continue to meet these targets.’

He was ‘confident’ the target would have been met without the strikes, which have seen both junior doctors and consultants walk out.

‘The evidence for that is before industrial action really intensified we had actually met our interim target of virtually eliminating the number of people who were waiting a year and a half,’ Mr Sunak added.”

The very least they should do is negotiate about restoring doctor’s pay in real terms, even if it has it can’t be all this year


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