NHS
BMA's new campaign is calling for an open and honest public debate about the NHS futureGetty

The British Medical Association (BMA) has launched a campaign urging all political parties to stop "petty point scoring" with NHS in the run up to the general election.

Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA, said the group's No More Games campaign isn't aimed at any one party in particular as all have been guilty of "game playing" with the institution for decades.

The BMA hopes that politicians will start debating on what is best for the NHS rather than just committing more to "soundbites of today rather than a service of tomorrow".

The campaign was launched following Ed Miliband and David Cameron clashing in the House of Commons over the Labour leader's alleged comments saying he would "weaponise" the NHS.

Porter said: "The NHS is one of the UK's towering achievements, but for too long it has been used to play political games. With health the public's number one election issue, this game playing is on the rise with all political parties laying the blame for the current NHS crisis at each other's door rather than facing the problem head on.

"Against the background of the worst A&E waiting time figures for a decade, the public is being treated to claims and counter claims from political parties about 'weaponising' the health service, 'betraying' the public's trust on the NHS. Caught in the middle are thousands of patients and NHS staff waiting for real, evidenced solutions."

The campaign will see posters distributed across the UK featuring a giant Jenga-style tower of blue blocks, and is launched after a public poll revealed 77% of the public believe the political parties are unveiling NHS policies to win votes rather than what is best for patient care.

Porter added: "The BMA is calling for an open and honest debate in which all political parties come together with the public to ensure the long-term future of the NHS. We want to see a stop to the headline-grabbing such as 48-hour targets for GP appointments, payments for dementia diagnoses, and unfunded budget pledges.

"The scale of the campaign just goes to demonstrate just how concerned doctors are, and we aim to ensure that every member of the public sees it and adds their voice to ours in calling for an end to the game-playing and the start of an open and honest public debate on how we create a long-term, sustainable plan for the NHS."