Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:18 pm, 14th May 2019

No. I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the importance of clean air, but I gently point out that dealing with the deficit—the annual amount by which the Government was overspending—is, and must be, the precursor to getting the debt down. Now, thankfully, the debt is falling relative to the economy, but there has been an awful lot of hard work to get us there.

Let us look at some of the things the NHS is delivering. The entire population now has access to evening and weekend GP appointments. More than a million GP appointments a month are now booked online, and consultation increasingly takes place online. More than three million repeat prescriptions are done online. There are more than 2 million more operations a year than in 2010, and we see 11.5 million more out-patient appointments than in 2010. Since last year, more than 500 extra beds a day have been freed up in hospitals.

When it comes to the future, only yesterday we announced that a new treatment aid for brain cancer can be rolled out across the country, benefiting up to 2,000 patients, all because of the extra money we are putting in. My right hon. Friend John Redwood is quite right that in return for the extra taxpayers’ money we are putting in, we must get extra out, too.