The NHS should get a “Brexit bonus” of £5bn a year, former Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said.
Speaking at the NHS Providers annual lecture, Lord Lansley said the public had a right to expect extra funding, which should be in place by 2019-2020.
He also called for ministers to commit to spending 7% of GDP on the NHS.
In the run-up to June’s EU referendum, Leave campaigners said the £350m a week the UK paid into the bloc’s budget would be spent on the NHS instead.
The figure proved contentious during the campaign, with Remain supporters arguing that figure did not take into account money the UK got back from the EU in grants, subsidies, and the British rebate.
The NHS is currently facing a host of financial challenges brought about by new drugs, treatments and therapies which patients are demanding, the cost of dealing with chronic disease and an increasing and ageing population.
In his speech, Lord Lansley, who was health secretary from 2010 to 2012, said: “At the referendum, on one hand the public were told that staying in would mean a strong economy and more money for the NHS.
“On the other hand the public were told that leaving would mean redirecting the EU budget and more money for the NHS.
“So for political reasons, both campaigns told the public that whatever was going to happen in the future, there would be more money for the NHS.
“So the public have a right to expect it. They have a right to expect a Brexit bonus for the NHS.”
He went on to say that the UK would not leave the EU before 2019 at the earliest, so the extra payments should be paid from then.
“It frankly should be no less than £5bn a year,” he added.
On the recent junior doctors’ dispute, Lord Lansley accused the British Medical Association of being “self-interested” and “nakedly political”.
He said the actions of the BMA were in “stark contrast” to his experience of dealing with “real trade unionists” like Dave Prentis, the current Unison general secretary, with whom he negotiated NHS pensions.