NHS funding gap of up to £2bn18th June 2014
Senior health officials have said NHS England faces a funding gap of £2bn from its £100bn budget for the next financial year.
Some health experts believe the sums, that will arrive just before the next general election, do not add up.
The NHS has been subject to a prolonged budget freeze as part of the government's plan to reduce the country's deficit.
The NHS's budget has been protected from cuts which have affected most other departments, but spending has not increased beyond the rate of inflation.
Population growth has led to an increasing financial demand and NHS pensions have also increased.
The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is talking with civil servants on whether new money is needed to solve this issue.
The Department of Health said it was "confident" it would "make the savings necessary to meet rising demand".
Health regulator, Monitor, underlines the possible scale of the challenge. It says, without savings made to the efficiency of the service, a funding gap of just over £5bn will exist in the secondary healthcare, which makes up three quarters of NHS England's total budget.
With all realistic efficiency savings being made, Monitor predicts there will still be a £1.6bn deficit in this section of the budget.
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Title: NHS funding gap of up to £2bn
Author: Dan Boyle
Article Id: 25658
Date Added: 18th Jun 2014