(Bloomberg) — Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will pledge an extra 6 billion-pound ($9 billion) investment in Britain’s state-run National Health Service in the next fiscal year, as the government seeks to show it’s prioritizing health, days after junior doctors — the U.K. equivalent of medical residents and medical interns — voted overwhelmingly for a strike.
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The governing Conservative Party promised in its manifesto for May’s election that health spending would rise by 10 billion pounds a year in real terms by 2020, allowing the NHS to implement a five-year plan for the future of the service. The chancellor will reiterate that pledge when he delivers his Spending Review and the Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday, the Treasury said in an e-mail, setting the extra funding at 6 billion pounds in the first year of the Spending Review, 2016-2017.
“You can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy and it’s only because we have taken the difficult decisions needed to cut the deficit and are delivering economic security that we are able to commit an additional 10 billion pounds a year by 2020 to the NHS,” Osborne will say, according to prepared remarks released by his office. “This means I am providing the health department with a half-a-trillion-pound settlement, the biggest ever commitment to the NHS since its creation” in 1948.
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