Five things you should know about the Â£20 billion NHS funding boost
Close to an extra Â£400 million per week - or Â£20 billion a year - has been pledged to the NHS once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced. Here are five key questions about the annoucement:
1. How much is the NHS getting?
The Government has said the NHS is to get an extra Â£384 million a week after Brexit. According to Theresa May it means the NHS will receive an additional Â£20 billion a year in real terms funding by 2024.
2. Where will the money come from?
It is expected that taxes and borrowing will rise to pay for the increase in funding, and resources will be redirected from the more than Â£9 billion a year the UK currently pays into the EU.
Mrs May said who pays more tax, and how much, will be decided in a "fair and balanced way" and announced in due course.
3. What will it be spent on?
The five-year settlement is part of a 10-year plan for the NHS for key improvements in cancer, mental health and other critical services.
The Government wants to avoid it being wasted on bureaucracy or used up by day-to-day costs, and the Health Secretary has spoken of investing in technology to ready the health service for the 21st century.
4. What do doctors make of the announcement?
The British Medical Association (BMA) said the announcement was "refreshing" after patients, doctors and healthcare staff had called for an urgent and substantial increase in funding for the NHS.
The BMA said it would be scrutinising the detail of the new package to assess what "real difference" it will make to patients.
5. What does Labour make of the announcement?
Labour said it was "based on wishful thinking" and they would have invested nearly Â£9 billion extra this year in the NHS and social care, paid for by the wealthiest people and big corporations through a "fair share" of tax.
They criticised Mrs May for not standing up to "vested interests" and asking patients to rely on a "hypothetical Brexit dividend".