Facebook event here. Meet at 11.30 on Saturday outside the Mason’s Arms on Devonshire Street.
By John Barlow.
A very special birthday will be celebrated on Thursday 5th July as the NHS turns 70. Rising like a phoenix from the ruins of the Second World War, the NHS has grown into one of the best, and most cost-effective, health care systems in the world. It is a monument to the best of our society: free at the point of use, universal, and publicly funded. It has eliminated diseases such as polio in the UK, delivered the world’s first IVF baby, and earned its place as a national treasure many times over.
But on its 70th birthday, our NHS is in a state of peril. Starving the NHS of funding and pursuing a policy of rampant privatisation, the Tory government is bringing today’s service to its knees. Its legions of fantastic, dedicated nurses and doctors are working harder than ever to deliver the care patients expect and deserve, but the results of the Tory rule are evident. Archaic IT systems that break down and are left vulnerable to hackers; out of date equipment; rotten windows and leaking roofs; patients left waiting for hours in corridors every winter due to the lack of beds; closed wards; and a recruitment crisis already underway thanks to Tory Brexit.
Theresa May has pledged an extra £20bn for the NHS by 2023. We are told that this money will be coming from a supposed post-Brexit windfall that she believes will result from the UK leaving the EU. But who can take this announcement in good faith? No-one, not even it seems her own MP’s. Sarah Wollaston a Tory MP and GP who chairs the Commons Health Select Committee, saw through her cynical ploy straight off the bat, describing the talk of “Brexit dividend” as “tosh” which “treats the public as fools”.
We won’t be forgetting Boris Johnson’s gurning face as he stood next to the Vote Leave bus back in 2016 a hurry. Then, the Brexiteers were promising £350 million pounds a week of extra funding for the NHS, a brazen lie that was repeatedly admonished by independent watchdogs. After the referendum vote, the government simply backtracked.
The Tories’ “Brexit dividend” for the NHS has nothing to do with wanting the NHS to be a success, and everything to do with justifying their Brexit agenda. But we know that Brexit will be a disaster for our NHS, as migrant health workers leave and public finances decline. You don’t have to take our word for it – take the word of the BMA, who have now joined with nurses’ unions to oppose Brexit and call for a People’s Vote on May’s deal.
Sorry Theresa, we won’t be fooled again.
Another Europe will be taking part in the NHS at 70 march in central London on Saturday 30th June, joining thousands who will celebrating a proud history, but also fighting for a decent future for the NHS.
We’ll be meeting at 11.30 outside the Mason’s Arms on Devonshire Street – join us on Facebook here. Come along to pick up leaflets for The Left Against Brexit which we’ll give out on the march.
Another Europe will also be joining the #PatientsNotPassports bloc and giving our full support to their campaign. Health is a universal right, and no-one should be denied or too frightened to seek treatment. Health workers shouldn’t be border guards! Come along and find out more here.
28th June 2018