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HEALTH AND HYPOCRISY

The health service has been working on the basis that £20bn of efficiency savings needed to be identified by 2015, but NHS finance chiefs are now working on the basis that a similar amount will have to be found in the following spending period because of the squeeze on public finances. "NHS staff numbers in England have seen their biggest drop in a decade with nursing posts among those culled, official figures show. The workforce declined by nearly 20,000 - 1.4% - in 2011 to 1,350,000. Most of the drop related to support and managerial staff, but nurse numbers also fell by 1% - despite promises by ministers to protect the frontline. It comes after NHS finance chiefs have been told they need to find even more savings than expected." (BBC News, 21 March) So the "we are all in this together" coalition government will save £20bn in 2015 and £20bn in 2016 on medical treatment for the working class. RD

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