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UK confident over increasing surgery targets:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The UK government intends to raise by 50-60% the number of cardiac surgeons working in the National Health Service (NHS) over the next five to six years. The total currently stands at 182. The increased staff numbers will help the NHS to meet a target of providing "6,000 more heart operations by 2004", secretary of state for health Alan Milburn said in a televised debate last week. Addressing the criticism levelled at continued excessive waiting times (see Clinica No 919, pp 1-2), Mr Milburn admitted that there were "enormous variations in performance nationally" and that there was a need to implement standards. But "the NHS is in a new era of expansion", he said during the TV debate adding, "I prefer to think of the NHS more as a glass half full than a glass half empty".

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