Press release: If you want to fight cancer, stop cutting the NHS

[5 October 2016]

dfnhs-press-logoDoctors for the NHS is calling on the government to restore NHS funding to improve the parlous state of cancer services in much of England[1]. The news about the state of cancer services follows years of chronic under-funding and cuts to services, leaving the NHS on the brink of collapse as GPs face impossible workloads and hospital services are cut under the guise of “efficiency savings”.

Dr Eric Watts is Chair of Doctors for the NHS and a consultant haematologist:

“Many are waiting 4 weeks to see a GP. The key to success in cancer treatment is early diagnosis, and waits like these mean precious time – and in some cases lives – are lost.

“We have known for some time that NHS funding has been well below the levels needed to keep the NHS going, let alone developing to meet increased demand, and figures like these are the inescapable result. NHS funding needs to be restored to levels that mean it can cope, and the vastly wasteful experiment with the ‘NHS market’ needs to be abandoned. Health is not a business commodity.”



[This release resulted in several enquiries from national press outlets.]

Editor’s Notes


Doctors for the NHS (DFNHS) was formed in March 2015 by the NHS Consultants’ Association re-naming itself and asking GPs and medical trainees to join. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] of the NHS by gathering the already impressive evidence (eg, on health funding – see OECD figures below); pointing to its ill effects on NHS services and founding principles; and campaigning widely to stop then repair the damage before it is too late and cannot be reversed.


DFNHS’s press officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]


Facebook: DoctorsForTheNHS


OECD expenditure figures

These figures give the lie to the arguments that we can’t afford a publicly funded NHS as other countries spend more public money on health services than we do.

We are 15th overall in total spend and 13th in public spending USA and 11 European countries spend more


[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigely, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.


[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]


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