Coronavirus: £13.4 billion of NHS debt wiped to help with pandemic battle

2 April 2020, 18:29 | Updated: 2 April 2020, 18:43

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that the government will wipe £13.4billion of NHS debt in a bid to battle coronavirus.

The government today announced that it will wipe £13.4billion of NHS debt to help them with the coronavirus battle.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in today's press conference: "Today, to help NHS trusts to deliver what’s needed without worrying about past finances, I can announce that I am writing off £13.4 billion of historic NHS debt.

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"This landmark step will not only put the NHS in a strong position to be able to respond to this global coronavirus pandemic, but it will ensure that our NHS has stronger foundations for our future too."

The government has wiped £13.4billion of NHS debt
The government has wiped £13.4billion of NHS debt. Picture: Getty

Mr Hancock also paid tribute to the NHS workers who have tragically passed away from coronavirus.

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He added: "I am profoundly moved by the compassion and the commitment that we are seeing from people right across the country, and in the health and care system we have lost colleagues too.

Matt Hancock announced the plans in the press conference today
Matt Hancock announced the plans in the press conference today. Picture: PA

"I just want to say this on behalf of all my colleagues in health and social care: I am awed by the dedication of colleagues on the frontline, every single person, who contributes to the running of this diverse and caring institution that our nation holds so dear.

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"Many of those who have died who are from the NHS, were people who came to this country to make a difference and they did, and they’ve given their lives in sacrifice. We salute them".

Matt Hancock delivered the press conference for the first time since he went into isolation for six days after testing positive for Covid-19.