Corbyn attacks May's handling of the NHS in the first PMQs of 2018
Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Prime Minister Theresa May for leading what he’s described as a crisis in the NHS and said she was "too weak" to sack the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
The leader of the opposition reminded May that before Christmas he had discussed the 12,000 people that had waited in ambulances over 30 minutes before being attended at A & E.
"She told the house the NHS was better prepared for winter than ever before, so what words of comfort does the prime minister have to the 17,000 patients waiting in the back of ambulances in the last week of December. Is it that nothing is perfect, by any chance?"
Corbyn then told the Commons that nurses were "spending their entire shift treating people in car parks" due to long queues of ambulances.
The PM reiterated her apologies to the patients who have suffered delays of any kind but she has maintained that the NHS was prepared better than ever before for the winter.
"I fully accept that the NHS is under pressure over winter. It is regularly under pressure at winter times.
"I’ve been very clear – I apologise to those people who’ve had their operations delayed, and to those people who have had their admissions to hospital delayed. But it is, indeed, the case that the NHS was better prepared than ever before," she said.
Corbyn responded to this by attacking the NHS’ preparation for winter by saying, "if the NHS is so well-resourced and so well-prepared, why was a decision taken last week to cancel the operations of 55,000 patients during the month of January?"
She responded by saying the operations would be rescheduled as soon as possible,"We will make sure those operations are reinstated as soon as possible. We are putting record funding into the NHS and record funding into mental health."
Corbyn then lashed out at Monday’s cabinet reshuffle where May did not sack health secretary Jeremy Hunt, moving him instead to the business department.
"We know the prime minister recognises there’s a crisis in our NHS because she wanted to sack the health secretary last week, but was too weak to do it."
May requested further details from Corbyn on a case that the Labour leader had raised, Vicky, whose 92-year-old mother had spent 13 hours waiting to be attended after a three-hour delay to get to the hospital.
Corbyn said: "This is not an isolated case. Does the prime minister really believe that the NHS is better prepared than ever for the crisis it’s now going through."
"We need to learn the lessons from these incidents," she responded.
May also criticised the way Labour was running the NHS in Wales that has seen cuts in health spending. But Corbyn shot back by saying it was the central Government who was responsible for allocating funds to the Principality.
Corbyn ended his intervention by saying: "The prime minister needs to understand that it’s her policies that are pushing our NHS into crisis. Tax cuts for the super rich and big business and paid for by longer waiting lists, ambulance delays, staff shortages and cuts to social care."