British PM pledges extra 1.8 bln pounds to boost national health services

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: An NHS sign sits on the outside of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital on January 3, 2018 in London, England. Hospitals in the UK have been advised to postpone all non-urgent operations until the end of January as the NHS struggles to cope with the surge in patients over the winter period. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled on Monday a new funding of 1.8 billion pounds (2.2 billion U.S. dollars) as part of his pledge to improve the National Health Service (NHS).

Johnson was visiting a Lincolnshire hospital, where he announced 850 million pounds (1.03 billion dollars) earmarked to upgrade facilities and equipment at 20 hospitals.

The announcement was seen as delivering on his pledge when entering Downing Street to urgently boost hospital services and ensure funding in the NHS reaches the frontline as soon as possible.

The prime minister also confirms a One-billion-pound cash boost to NHS capital spending, allowing existing upgrade programmes to proceed and meeting the most urgent infrastructure demands.

“It’s time to face up to this challenge and make sure the NHS receives the funds it needs, to continue being the best healthcare service in the world,” Johnson said prior to the visit.

Later this week, Britain’s health secretary is also expected to roll out further changes to the NHS pension scheme to support senior doctors and general practitioners taking on extra shifts.

But Britain’s main opposition the Labour Party argued that the funding is “significantly short” as to the amount needed by the NHS and would not reverse years of cuts, local media reported.

The 1.8-billion-pound funding is in addition to the long-term spending increase for the NHS announced last year, which will lead to an annual increase in the NHS’capital budget of 30 percent.