Dr Rinesh Patel, chair of the Doctors’ Association UK, has pointed out that only a small number of doctors believed that the NHS is ready for deal with the coronavirus threat.

‘The truth is the NHS has already been brought to its knees and many doctors fear that our health system simply won’t cope in the event of influx of coronavirus patients.’

He points to nearly 10,000 doctor vacancies and 43,000 nurse vacancies. ‘A&E waiting times are the worst on record. Intensive care units are at capacity and are even struggling to admit patients who are critically unwell or awaiting cancer surgery.’

Let’s hope coronavirus can be contained! Already locally we are waiting longer for a GP appointment, longer for referral to hospital, and longer for treatment.

What is needed is investment now – with more money, more doctors, nurses and improved hospitals.

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