With the recent cyber-attacks on the NHS causing a large amount of concern over its security and future wellbeing, many questions have been raised as to its overall condition and safety. There have been concerns that the Conservative government are set on privatising the NHS, so this election could be of paramount importance to the institution’s future. Here are some points to consider.

Funding

The money provided for the NHS each year goes towards treating the entire nation. The Conservatives have pledged to provide £8 billion of funding to the NHS, which seems substantial, but is dwarfed by Labour’s promise of over £30 billion.

The fact that both parties have promised money towards the NHS suggests that it is widely accepted that it is underfunded. Therefore, this election will decide to what extent the institution is maintained and improved through public funding, and what financial direction it takes in the future.

Security

The level of funding the NHS receives will no doubt play a role in determining how secure it is from cyber threats. The most recent attacks exposed how outdated the NHS’s cyber security truly is, perhaps as a result of underfunding.

Many people will be concerned that future cyber attacks could be worse, and possibly even be a significant threat to people’s lives if crucial patient records are harmed. It therefore makes sense that the amount of funding granted by the winning party, as well as their focus on tackling the global cyber threats which face the UK, will make a huge difference to the NHS’s resilience against such threats.

Privatisation

One of the main concerns in recent years has been the potential privatisation of an institution which by definition has been run by the state for nearly 70 years. Free at the point of use, the NHS has been one of Britain’s proudest creations, as it provides universal healthcare to everyone across the country, regardless of circumstance.

If privatised, people may well struggle to be able to afford care, potentially having to generate more income on the side (through methods like CFD trading) to pay for treatment. Although there is no explicit mention of NHS privatisation in the Conservative manifesto, they have traditionally been in favour of privatising national institutions such as the railways.

Wages

There has also been rising concern over the state of NHS sector workers’ wages, which many claim have been stagnating for a number of years. The policies of both parties could well determine how overall wages in the UK fare in the future, with Labour promising to raise the minimum wage to £10 per hour.

The investment promised by both parties, although varying in amount, could ensure that NHS wages begin to rise once the election is over, although much more so under a Labour government.

It will be down the general public to decide which party they think represents them, and the NHS could be a significant factor in determining which way they vote. No matter which party wins, there will no doubt be significant changes in store for the NHS.

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