THE Isle of Wight had a visit from the Green Party health spokesperson Larry Sanders — brother of potential United States of America President candidate Bernie Sanders — who said the nation was in a 'healthcare crisis.'

A low turn out greeted Mr Sanders at the Riverside Centre, in Newport, on Wednesday where he came to promote Isle of Wight Green Party parliamentary candidate Vix Lowthion.

However, the message to save the NHS was clear from Mr Sanders as he talked about the 'underfunding' the health and social care sector has had in the last few years and the dangers of privatising services, along with the Green Party's pledge to invest an extra £6 billion to the NHS every year.

Mr Sanders, an Oxfordshire Councillor, said the child mortality rate has risen in the country in six years due to the underfunding. "Hundreds of children have died that would not have had we not degraded our services," he said.

"Not only have we degraded our services in the sense that money has been taken out of our health and social care services — in this instance money is people.

"Money is doctors, nurses, care workers — but we are short. We have 10,000 doctors too few, 50,000 nurses too few, 120,000 care workers too few.

"It is with enormous sadness to see something which so decent and so good, so humane, so efficent being run down and I would not be surprised if it was destroyed."

Mr Sanders also warned the underfunding has led to privatisation — and pointed out for a long time privatisation has been happening in the NHS where contracts for specific services are given to different health care professionals.

He said: "We have, in my view, a desperate situation and a despicable government. This is the politcs of life and death.

"We have the possibility that one at a time whole chunks of the NHS will become privatised and profitied from private companies — many of them American."

If elected, Green Party MPs have pledged to introduce a bill restoring the responsibility for all health provision to the Secretary of State, and not private companies.

Despite the additional funding the Green Party has said it will give to the NHS, the biggest amount across the political parties, Mr Sanders said that it would not be enough to recover from the damage done.

He said: "We cannot mass produce medical care. We live longer and as we live longer we have more years to be ill."