U.K.’s Javid Warns Hospital Backlog Could Soar to 13 Million - BLOOMBERG
JULY 11, 2021
Hospital waiting lists in England could more than double to 13 million people in the coming months due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions, Britain’s new health secretary warned.
Sajid Javid told the Sunday Telegraph that some people who needed treatment, including for cancer checks and mental health problems, hadn’t turned up for fear of catching the virus or a “very British” attitude of not wanting to overburden health-care workers.
He said he was “confident” that virtually all of England’s remaining restrictions would be lifted as planned on July 19, despite concerns from some scientists over rising infection rates.
The number of patients waiting for NHS treatment reached a record 5.3 million at the end of May; Javid said he was “shocked” to be told by scientists it could go as high as 13 million.
“It’s going to be one of my top priorities to deal with because we can’t have that,” he told the newspaper in his first newspaper interview since being appointed as health secretary in June.