Quick Guide: Health issues
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Hospital waiting

Patient choice

Staff numbers

Heart disease and cancer

Investment

Public health

Staff numbers

Increasing capacity is the key to providing more choice in the NHS.

Doctor and nurse numbers have gone up by more than 15% each in the last five years.

In 1999 there were 95,000 doctors, but by 2004 the number was 117,000. Over the same period nurse levels rose from 329,600 to 397,515.

However, the Tories have attacked the 30% jump in NHS managers to 112,593 as unnecessary bureaucracy.

Doctors' leaders warn thousands more surgeons and GPs are needed to keep the NHS going over the next five years.