Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NHS Predicts Spare ?1.75Bn but Withholds Cancer Drugs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NHS Predicts Spare ?1.75Bn but Withholds Cancer Drugs

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNA DAVIS

THE NHS will have ?1.75 billion in its savings account by the end of the year, it predicted today.

The news comes as cancer patients who have been told their treatment is too expensive staged a demonstration in central London.

The huge surplus, predicted for the 2008/2009 financial year, is even higher than last year's figure of ?1.6 billion.

The Government said the money, about two per cent of the overall NHS budget, will stay within the NHS to improve patient care. Health campaigners said it should be spent now on dying patients rather than kept for the future.

David Flory, director general of NHS finance, performance and operations said: "A strong financial position backed by good progress on delivery will continue to ensure high quality services for patients. The NHS must now look forward." An NHS spokesman added that the surplus reflected "strong financial management." About 100 kidney cancer patients today staged an emotional protest at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which has ruled four life-extending drugs are not "cost effective". …

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