By Seema Chandwani | Twitter @SeemaChandwani
Across the country, the NHS is being dismantled, downgraded and closed down. These decisions are reckless and defies commonsense considering the growing population. Regardless of the rhetoric from Cameron, the systematic collapse of the NHS is at the heart of Tory ideology as recently exposed by the release of government documents from the Thatcher era. What we are seeing now is an attack on the NHS to fulfil Thatcher’s once defeated plans.
The Tories cannot be trusted with the NHS, they gave an election promise they will not cut the NHS and continue to inform the public that spending of the NHS has risen under their term. However, as revealed just before Christmas 2012 the UK Statistics Authority had to warn the goverment about these claims as spending in the NHS had actually been reduced.
Hospitals are seeing closures of wards, A&Es and reductions of departments with some hospitals even proposing the bizarre such as the capping of births (Eh?!). As regularlydocumented by Dr Eoin Clarke, thousands of nurses are losing their jobs, including within departments that are still providing care, this is impacting upon capacity and safety of existing services. Ambulance queues have almost doubled in the last two years, A&E waiting times are rising and the real impact of the Health and Social Care Act is yet to take shape.
Reductions of this scale, which are putting the lives of people in direct danger can never be described as improvements or reform, they are quite simply an attempt to eradicate national values and morals, forcibly replacing them with cruel Tory beliefs that healthcare is a privilege and not a right.
The biggest weapon the Tories (and their Lib Dem friends) have to fulfil their vision is public apathy and naivety. The media’s coverage of what this government is doing to the NHS has been intentionally weak and we are being drip fed myths of desired improvements by a manipulating Tory regime. As I have a diabetic brother and my younger sister is being treated for suspected MS, being apathetic, naive and manipulated cannot be an option for me, I am sure that each one of you have similar reasons or experiences why the NHS is important to you.
This week (9th – 16th Feb) is “Defend London’s NHS Week of Action” led by community campaign groups across the capital and I hope you get involved. The Labour Left London branch proudly support this initiative and below is a diary of events taking place this week:
- Sat 9th Feb | 5-6.30pm | Candle-lit vigil | Outside Ealing Hospital.
- Sat 9th Feb | 5-6.30pm | Candle-lit vigil | Outside Central Middlesex Hospital
- Mon 11th Feb | 10-11.45am | Defend London’s NHS Press conference | (Press Only)
- Tues 12th Feb | 7.30pm | Defend Whittington Hospital Public Meeting | Archway Methodist Hall.
- Thurs 14th Feb | Save Ealing Hospital Valentine’s Day protest
- Fri 15th Feb | 5.45pm | Singing Flash Mob | King’s Cross Station (New Departures)
- Sat 16th Feb | 12pm | Save Ealing Hospital | Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre
- Sat 16th Feb | 12-2pm | Save Hammersmith & Fulham Hospitals demonstration | Lyric Square, King Street.
- Sat 16th Feb | 12-2pm | Save Kingston Hospital March | Norbiton Station to Kingston Guildhall.
(Information above is subject to change, people should check direct with campaign groups to confirm details. Campaign groups can be found here) Regular updates will be tweeted on the London Labour Left Twitter (@LabLeftTwitter)
This piece was also featured on Labour Left