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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2012

Welsh Labour's health service 'redesign' means cuts!

Claire Job, a nurse for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board, spoke at the Wales Shop Stewards Network conference about the need to fight for the future of the NHS in Wales.

Devolution in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland has effectively split the National Health Service into four. The Health and Social Care Act effectively replaces England's NHS with a health market.

In Wales, we risk thinking that because we do not yet face such privatisation as England, we're okay. But the NHS in Wales now faces greater financial pressures than any other area of the UK.

The seven health boards in Wales have to find 300 million of 'savings' (ie cuts), around 5% of their budgets on average, every year for the next three years.

In the last financial year, four of the health boards only met their targets because they were given additional funding from the Welsh government - but that's not going to happen any more.

The NHS in Wales has already carried out 290 million 'savings' in 2011-12 on top of the unprecedented 1 billion cut since 2005.

Wales' Labour government has gone on a publicity offensive about the importance of redesigning health services in Wales. They say a better NHS is one where:

Poverty and ill health

Rates of heart disease, respiratory illness and mental illness are high in parts of Wales, particularly in the South Wales Valleys. The links between poverty and ill health are well-documented and established.

Cardiff University has released a paper investigating the effects of the economic downturn on health. It concludes that there will be deterioration in health for those who become long-term unemployed or who enter into a cycle of low-paid, insecure employment.

A freeze on recruitment in many health boards leads to an over-reliance on agency nurses. This alone cost the NHS in Wales 50 million in the year up to April 2011.

The prospect of regional pay could have frightening effects on recruiting and retaining health professionals in Wales, with nurses and doctors migrating to higher paid localities. The impact of this on services and the delivery of health care in lower paid and deprived areas will be huge.

Health services in Wales are changing. Their shape will not reflect the needs of the people of Wales. Their shape will reflect the unprecedented cuts in NHS funding unless we can defeat them. We need to unite and fight.


See also: Wales Shop Stewards Network conference prepares for action: Trade union reps call for a 24 hour general strike

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In The Socialist 4 July 2012:


Socialist Party campaigns

Jail the banksters! Nationalise the banks under popular democratic control


Socialist Party NHS campaign

SAVE OUR NHS

It's our NHS - let's fight for it!

Welsh Labour's health service 'redesign' means cuts!

South London NHS: Socialist councillors said: 'Axe PFI, not our NHS'


Socialist Party feature

PCS votes to stand candidates in national elections


Socialist Party LGBT

Sexuality, austerity and socialism


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Resisting state oppression, fighting for survival


Socialist Party workplace news

London buses: "This is why we're in the union"

Wales Shop Stewards Network conference calls for 24 hour general strike

RMT conference: Vote for one-day general strike

Essex FBU strike back at bullyboy management

Unite needs fighting socialist policies

Supporting Sheffield recycling workers

Workplace news in brief


Obituary

Obituary: Roger MacKay, a tireless fighter for socialist ideas


Socialist Party appeal

Save our server!


Youth fight for jobs

Immolation horror - we demand jobs

Leicester: Police undermined opposition to racist march

Racist and hooligan EDL invades Dewsbury

Olympic-watch

Them&Us


Socialist Party review

Various Pets Alive and Dead


 

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