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Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 08:51 UK

NHS 'not exempt' from broader pressures'

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The new Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said that the government will not "let the sick pay for Labour's debt crisis" but added that the NHS will not be protected from the need to ensure efficiency savings.

He told the Today programme that although "the real value of spending in the NHS is going to be increased and enhanced," with real term increases during the coming years, "this will impact on other areas" of government expenditure.

He said that he aims to go beyond Labour's promised efficiency savings. "That implied something like three to three-and-a-half percent, probably about three percent efficiency savings each year in the NHS.

Of course we do need to do that. And we may need to do more because we have increases in demand in the NHS and a need to improve the outcomes. I mean we're in a situation where our cancer survival rates are significantly below the European average, where we have 75 percent higher early mortality from lung disease than other countries."

"Every penny saved is a penny which can be reinvested," he added.


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