We all know the NHS is at breaking point.
Staff are underpaid, buildings crumbling and there are not enough beds or equipment.
Chronic under-investment has left it hanging by a thread.
It needs more money. That’s understood. We would never, ever, advocate any form of charging for medical treatment.
The NHS is free at the point of delivery. That’s a founding principle and one this country should be proudest of.
We must protect it.
But meanwhile more can be done to take care of the money it does have. Today we reveal the shocking news that every year an estimated £1.29billion is stolen from the NHS.
That is an enormous figure – too big to take in properly. So let’s break it down. That would pay for 40,000 nurses, 5,000 ambulances or 116,000 hip ops.
Imagine the difference £1.29billion would make to conditions, staffing levels and waiting lists. We all need to do our bit to help battle this fraud.
It defies belief there are people out there who would scam our NHS. But they exist.
From patients filling in false prescriptions, to managers setting up fake companies and carrying out fraud to the tune of tens of thousands. Every week, there are 100 calls to a hotline reporting NHS fraud.
And investigators are calling on anyone who knows of – or suspects – NHS fraud to contact them in total anonymity.
It is vital this happens.
Because every penny that ends up in the pockets of these crooks is money that could be spent on our health service.
And there is nothing more important than that.
TV license shame
The BBC can make the world’s finest TV but it is not cheap.
The licence – up by £4 to £154.50 – has risen for the third year in a row. It is worth it for Blue Planet, Strictly, and Doctor Who. But the BBC on the verge of scrapping the free licence fee for the over 75s is a scandal.
If there is a choice between making pensioners pay or funding the inflated salaries of some BBC “stars” it is clear where the axe should fall.
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