Health screening programme will be available to all, pledges Brown
Gordon Brown has promised a more personal and preventative NHS today as plans were revealed for a new national health screening programme to provide patients with early warning of some of the biggest fatal diseases.
In an interview on GMTV, the Prime Minister announced: What I want to have is a 21st century, modern health service that people think is rightly personal to your needs.
So if you want a check-up, if you want screening, if you want a preventative vaccine, if you want advice on health and fitness… the health service is there for you, and it is a preventative health service so it is preventing illness as well as dealing with illness.’
He declared the Governments intention to set up the first national screening programme of its kind in the world, spotting the early signs of heart problems, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and providing wellbeing tests that are usually only available to private patients.
In the next few months, Health Secretary Alan Johnson will set out plans to introduce NHS tests to identify vulnerability to a range of heart and circulation problems.
There will soon be check-ups on offer to monitor for heart disease, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease – conditions which affect the lives of 6.2 million people, cause 200,000 deaths each year and account for a fifth of all hospital admissions, says Brown.
The Prime Minister also announced plans to make key diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, electro-cardiograms (ECGs) and ultrasounds available in local GP surgeries, to help cut waiting times.