A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that health inequality between the rich and the poor in the UK has risen in recent years. Critics of the Tory-led government's austerity measures — including the shadow minister for public health — have attributed this rise to cuts in the NHS' budget.
Growing health inequality in the UK has alarmed Labour's Sharon Hodgson, who serves as an MP and the shadow minister for public health.
"The growing gulf of health inequalities between rich and poor exposes the terrible effects of the policies pursued by this government. It's just astonishing that this decade has seen a slowdown in improvements in life expectancy — an appalling consequence of this Government's failure to improve the chances of the worst-off — as years of underfunding in health and social care take their toll," MP Sharon Hodgson was quoted by an official Labour party press release as saying.
In addition to criticizing PM Theresa May's government, MP Hodgson pledged, on behalf of her party, to adequately fund the NHS to tackle the matter if Labour gains a ruling majority in the next general election, which is scheduled to be held in 2022.
"The next Labour Government will ensure our health and care system is properly funded so all children are given the best possible start in life, and older people are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve," Mrs Hodgson added.
In early February, 2018 thousands of protestors marched in central London to pressure the government to increase funding to the NHS in order to help it cope with public demand.
According to estimates, the UK currently has a 40,000-nurse shortfall and is in dire need of additional funding and investment to ensure the NHS can adequately serve patients.