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The waiting list for hospitals has been going on for years

The waiting list for hospitals has been going on for years

Millions of people in the UK are currently waiting for a planned procedure in hospital – and this could continue for years to come, despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's promise.

That's the conclusion of a study released Thursday by the Think Tank for Financial Studies. At the end of December, there were around 7.6 million cases on the NHS waiting list scheduled for an inpatient or outpatient procedure.

That's nearly 400,000 more than a year ago and about three million more than pre-pandemic times, the agency wrote. The Prime Minister did not achieve the target set a year ago. However, there is reason for hope. The number of cases on the waiting list has fallen for three months in a row at the end of 2023.

Sunak has made reducing wait times in the healthcare system one of his most important goals. His conservative Tories have been in power for 14 years in Great Britain. They are currently trailing the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls. Britons must elect a new parliament by January 2025.

“The next government is likely to have a waiting list in England that is shrinking,” said study author Max Warner. But even if the trend is pointing in the right direction, the list will be longer than before, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. “Even in an optimistic scenario, we assume that the waiting list in four years will be longer than it was at the start of the epidemic.”