LABOUR’S Wes Streeting last night hit back at doctors moaning after he said all patients should get an in-person GP appointment.
The Shadow Health Secretary stood firm against criticism from medics – telling The Sun the “something for nothing culture” must end.
He sided with exasperated Brits fuming that around a third of all appointments are still conducted online or over the phone.
Despite the national clamour for better access to GPs, his pledge to offer a face-to-face slot to every patient who wants one was branded “disappointing” by doctors.
The British Medical Association called the policy “divisive headline-grabbing promises that are not grounded in reality, and which suggest the existing workforce are somehow not trying hard enough.”
But Mr Streeting last night blasted: “The BMA can’t expect nothing more delivered for patients, when Labour’s plan will train an extra 7,500 doctors every year.
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“This something for nothing culture has to end.
“Labour will always put patients first. We will make sure people can see a GP when they want, how they want.”
Only 22 per cent of patients are given a choice about what kind of appointment they have, according to party analysis.
Mr Streeting, tipped as a future leader, also wants to end the “8am rush” by allowing all patients to book online.
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Health Secretary Therese Coffey also wants to improve care and has set a two-week turnaround target for patients to get a GP appointment.
She will name and shame clinics that fail to meet the “expectation” and has urged patients to consider moving clinics that fail to make the grade.