Bethnal Green and Bow faces many health challenges, including a lower than average life expectancy and significant levels of mental health related illnesses, heart disease and diabetes. In the borough of Tower Hamlets, the rate of heart disease or stroke before the age of 75 is more than twice that of more affluent boroughs, and early cancer rates are nearly 50% higher.
In government, Labour almost doubled the investment in the NHS, from approximately £60 billion in 1997/1998 to over £110 billion in 2009/2010. But the current Conservative Government’s decision to radically restructure the NHS – without the support of doctors, patients or health professionals – shows just how out of touch they still are. Changes to the NHS will lead to a reduction in funding of £20 million in Tower Hamlets during this term of government. These changes will only exacerbate existing health inequalities both in Bethnal Green and Bow and many other parts of the country.
I'm disappointed that the Tories decided to push through the Health and Social Care Act 2012, despite all of the public opposition, but will continue to work to ensure that Bethnal Green and Bow has the health service it deserves and to mitigate the impact of these changes on local people.