Labour was described as “desperate” after it emerged that their latest major policy announcement for the NHS is on course to be completed by the end of the year, months before an election will take place.
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting pledged to ensure that 100 percent of scans would be analysed by artificial intelligence (AI) under a Labour government.
He said that this would create “an Australian style health system” and would double NHS diagnostic capacity and cut heart deaths by one quarter.
In the same interview with the Daily Telegraph, he praised Australia for being second only to Japan for the capacity of MRI, CT and PET scanners – with 88 per million population.
And he claimed that Britain “languishes at the bottom of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) league tables – with just 19 per million people.”
But Health Minister Maria Caulfield has hit back claiming Labour is once again using dodgy figures and questioning why Mr Streeting had travelled all the way round the world to Australia to announce a policy for stroke units which has already been introduced in the NHS.
She noted that there is already 86 percent coverage for AI in stroke units and the NHS is committed to reaching 100 percent coverage by the end of 2023 in a few weeks.
Ms Caulfield, who is still a practising nurse, told Express.co.uk: “Labour’s playing catchup again – that’s a very long flight to announce something we’re already delivering.
“This Conservative Government has deployed life-saving AI technology in over 86 percent of stroke units already, and the rest will be covered in the new year.
“Wes should focus on coming up with some policies of his own instead of jetting halfway around the world to copy and paste our plans.”
Regarding the OECD rankings, a source said: “Labour doesn’t seem to have accounted for all our Community Diagnostic Centre investments which means MRI and CT scanners will go up by nearly a third.”
The AI scans are the latest confusion over policies a Labour government would introduce after a number of U-turns by Sir Keir Starmer.
There are questions now whether they will press ahead with their planned £28 billion green investment, meanwhile he has ditched proposals to end the cap on child benefit and nationalise energy companies and the railways among other things.
There are also concerns that he may try to rejoin the EU by stealth despite pledging that he will not take Britain back into the bloc.