The British Medical Association has given a cautious response to healthcare plans announced in the Conservative Party election manifesto.

The group said it would study the Tory plans and compare them with its own proposals for how the NHS should be run.

At the unveiling of the Tory manifesto, the party said it would decentralise power in the NHS with the aim of giving “real choice” to patients.

The Tories said they would give patients the power to choose any provider that can give NHS-standard care at NHS prices, as well as cutting down on waiting times for treatment.

The Conservative Party also said it would increase health spending in real terms every year if it is elected next month.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA council, said the group would study the plans closely in the coming weeks.

He said: “The NHS is facing significant financial pressures and so it is vital that all new policies are evidence-based and cost-effective.

“It is for this reason that all the political parties need to move away from a market model for the NHS in England, as there are some shocking examples of NHS money being wasted through an apparent obsession with the private provision of NHS care.”

Dr Meldrum added the plan for patients being able to see a GP from 8am to 8pm is “bound to be popular”.

But he added the quality of care should not be compromised in order for that to happen.