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Poor Brexit deal could upset our NHS plans, says Hunt

Conservative plans to train more nurses and doctors and put extra cash into the NHS depend on a good deal and 'strong economy', health secretary admits.
Jeremy Hunt

A poor Brexit deal could hinder plans to train more nurses and doctors and pump extra funding into the NHS, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted.

Mr Hunt said economic damage if the UK leaves the European Union without a good deal could 'upset' his plans, and the Brexit negotiations would determine whether the economy remained strong enough to put more money into the health service.

More money

He told the i newspaper: 'Everyone cares passionately about the NHS. They also know there's not a magic money tree, and in the end the Brexit negotiations will determine whether our economy stays strong and we can carry on putting more money into the NHS, which is what people want.'

Mr Hunt said

A poor Brexit deal could hinder plans to train more nurses and doctors and pump extra funding into the NHS, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted.


Brexit negotiations 'will determine whether we can carry on putting more money into the NHS',  Mr Hunt said. Picture: John Houlihan

Mr Hunt said economic damage if the UK leaves the European Union without a good deal could 'upset' his plans, and the Brexit negotiations would determine whether the economy remained strong enough to put more money into the health service.

More money

He told the i newspaper: 'Everyone cares passionately about the NHS. They also know there's not a magic money tree, and in the end the Brexit negotiations will determine whether our economy stays strong and we can carry on putting more money into the NHS, which is what people want.'

Mr Hunt said his priorities for the NHS after the election, should the Conservatives retain power and he remain as health secretary, would be 'more doctors, more nurses' and increased health funding 'on the back of a strong economy'.

Asked if he was confident the Conservatives would be able to meet 2020 recruitment targets, including 5,000 more GPs, Mr Hunt told the newspaper that doctor training places had been increased – by up to 1,500 a year from September 2018 – 'so the only thing that could upset that is if Brexit goes wrong and we don't have the resources to put into it, but that's what we want to do'.

'NHS at stake'

Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that the future of the NHS and other public services are 'at stake' in the general election.

Mr Corbyn turned Theresa May's election slogan against her, claiming that after seven years of Conservative-led administrations, the health, social care and education systems were 'anything but strong and stable'.

Five more years of Conservative government would be 'disastrous' for public services, while Labour would be willing to ask the richest to pay 'a little bit more' to fund them, he said.


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