08:44 GMT +320 February 2018
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    A protester holds a placard in support of the NHS in front of the Elizabeth Tower, also known as Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament during a march against private companies' involvement in the National Health Service (NHS) and social care services provision and against cuts to NHS funding in central London on March 4, 2017

    UK Doctors' Union Head Draws Attention to NHS Crisis Ahead of June Snap Election

    © AFP 2018/ Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    The British Medical Association (BMA) on Tuesday warned UK politicians against marginalizing the National Health Service (NHS) crisis in the upcoming snap election.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May called an early general election for June 8 with a parliamentary approval pending until Wednesday. The prime minister said a strong government was needed and the tough decision was taken to ensure stability in the country amid looming Brexit talks.

    "Health is always one of the most important issues for the people of this country and with the NHS at breaking point, having been put through one of the worst winters on record, it must be a central issue in the upcoming election. The NHS must not be pushed to the margins in the focus on Brexit," BMA Council Chair Mark Porter was quoted as saying in a statement.

    The union head slammed previous UK governments for neglecting healthcare and underinvesting in the NHS before calling on all parties to finally make plans to resolve the public health shortage crisis.

    "There are crippling funding and staffing shortages undermining the delivery of safe care, and serious question marks over the future of thousands of EU citizens who are a vital part of the NHS," he added, referring to the fact that the government did not guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the country ahead of Brexit.

    The NHS has been plagued by increasing queues and long delays to treatment in what has been dubbed a health crisis by the opposition and watchdogs. In January, the British Red Cross referred to huge waiting hours in UK hospitals as a "humanitarian crisis." May responded saying the phrasing used was inappropriate to describe the situation.

    In early February, research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine claimed that the lack of funding for the NHS and social care system in the United Kingdom had led to 30,000 excess deaths in 2015.

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    Brexit, healthcare, National Health Service (NHS), Theresa May, United Kingdom
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