Andrea Leadsom backs calls to reduce pressure on hospitals by increasing the number of Enfield’s GPs
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said she was “very sympathetic” to Turkish-speaking people who feel the language barrier prevents them from signing up with a GP.
Many Turkish-speaking people in London are not registered with a doctor and end up visiting their local hospital when they need healthcare, contributing to overcrowding in A&E units like North Middlesex.
Ms Leadsom told Haber: “The government has really funded the NHS to a much greater extent than the Labour party did and our commitment to it is really solid throughout this campaign.
“And Theresa May has been very clear that this is a top priority for a new government.”
Ms Leadsom was speaking while campaigning in Palmers Green for the Conservative candidate David Burrowes, who is running for re-election as MP for Enfield Southgate.
She said she was “very sympathetic” to Turkish-speaking people’s concerns that there weren’t enough doctors they could discuss their health in their own language.
“We do make every effort to accommodate other languages and the government has committed to more GP training,” she said.
Healthcare in Enfield has also been raised by the Labour Party, with Enfield North candidate Joan Ryan saying at least 84 more GPs are needed in the borough by 2020.
The environment secretary also praised Mr Burrowes’s work on Turkish GCSE and A level exams after the Conservative Party said it would guarantee their future at the last election.
She said: “David has been such an advocate for the Turkish community here, making sure that the pledge to keep Turkish on the curriculum for young people to be able to study has been really important.”
David Burrowes added: “In parliament I got the minister to follow through and Nick Gibb to follow through with the commitment to ensure it. The exam board were just prevaricating.
“I think it’s good that in the community when we make a promise, we deliver on it.”
“Turkish is such a key issue in our community as a modern language. Not just for community identity but also for growing businesses, growing skills and employment and when we look towards the close relationship between Turkey and the UK it’s all the more important.”