69% of MPs believe the NHS should focus on prevention rather than funding new treatments, reveals poll

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10th March 2020 14:42 - Central Government

69% of MPs believe the NHS should focus on prevention rather than funding new treatments: A survey conducted on behalf of WA Communications by YouGov has found that 69% of the MPs polled believe the NHS should focus on prevention rather than funding for new treatments  - increasing from 64% last year. 

The poll, designed to gauge the attitudes of MPs towards health funding priorities, found that just a quarter believe that improving the availability of new medicines is a top funding priority. When looking at a breakdown, more than a quarter of Conservatives were found to be in favour (28%), compared with less than a fifth of Labour MPs. 

Building and upgrading hospitals

When it comes to building new hospitals, just 20% of Conservative MPs agreed that this should be a health priority, this is despite the Conservative manifesto pledging to construct 40 new hospitals over the course of the next decade as well as upgrade 20 existing hospitals. More than a fifth ( 22%) of Labour MPs were in support, with the highest support (31%) in constituencies in the north of England 

While just 4% of female MPs thought health spending should be prioritised on funding new hospitals, more than six times this number of male MPs thought it should be.

Mental health and cancer care

Mental health was considered a top priority for health spending by two-thirds of the MPs polled. Looking at the political divide, 80% of Labour MPs chose mental health as a priority for health spending, compared to just 47% of Conservative MPs.

When it came to cancer care, a third of MPs selected it as a top priority for NHS spending (35%) - breaking down as 46% of Conservative MPs and just 18% of Labour respondents. The split was also notable between male and female MPs with 48% of male participants in favour, compared to 8% of females.

Digital healthcare

Just 10% of participants agreed that digital healthcare should be a priority for NHS funding (13% of Conservative MPs and 5% of Labour MPs), with support the greatest in Scotland (17%). 

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