Doctors have warned that the lack of beds, staff and equipment in the National Health Service (NHS) is leading to thousands of hospital operations for children being cancelled every year.
The NHS statistics released after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request from the Labour Party revealed that more than 46, 000 children’s operations were cancelled over the last four years.
During 2016-17, a total of 12,349 surgeries, including many essential operations to repair broken bones and remove rotten teeth or insert grommets, were cancelled as doctors’ leaders warned that the figures show the NHS is at breaking point.
The Labour Party said the figures are likely to be significantly higher as the results of the FoI request only cover around half of England’s 153 NHS hospital trusts.
Dr Mark Porter, the chair of British Medical Association (BMA) said that it is time to say enough is enough because the sustained underfunding and under-resourcing of the NHS starts to impact on children’s health.
He further added that the tens of thousands of children’s operations cancelled over the past 4 years show the true picture of an NHS at breaking point, buckling under the increasing pressure felt across the service.
The president of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Neena Modi said the latest figures are shocking, all the more so as they clearly suggest only the tip of the iceberg, and are further evidence that the NHS is being pushed to the brink. Children are harmed by gaps in operations, and for some destruction may be long-term.
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