We have lost the Accident and Emergency service we had and the maternity ward. This has meant that patients, mothers and family members are having to travel much further to get vital health care.
The Liberal Democrats campaigned against these changes but Conservative Health Minister Jeremy Hunt made the decision to axe some of these important services.
|Junior Doctors striking|
It is right that we should be looking to have an urgent healthcare system that operates seven days a week but many services do operate seven days a week. If we do, doctors and nursing staff need to be given a fair deal in terms of their working conditions.
If doctors, nurses and other staff are working over the weekend this needs to be done in a way that makes use of those who wish to work at weekends or pay more for the inconvenience that many will suffer.
So how can we settle the uncertainty that the Health Minister has caused? Firstly more money might be needed to make improvements to our health service. Some of this could come from the legalising of cannabis.
The evidence is pretty clear that legalising cannabis for personal use only, would help both ease the pain of many patients with terminal illnesses as well as generate addition tax income for the government which could be spent on health services.
The Economist recently published a paper called “Regulating Cannabis - the right way to do drugs”. It showed that outlawing cannabis use is not a gateway to harder drugs and in some cases people reduce their drug usage.
Another area that needs real improvement is that of mental health. When the Liberal Democrats were in government we ensured that more money was given to this vital area. We need to be better at identifying those who have mental health issues and help treat them. The Conservative government has gone back on some of its pledges which is a sad state of affairs.
So in Ealing and across the country we need to improve our healthcare – I have shown how this could be achieved.
Clearly in the short term the Liberal Democrats believe our doctors and nurses should be supported. The current government appears not to want to give some doctors are fair settlement.
A fairer settlement would mean a more motivated workforce.
That is what Ealing needs.