Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/732/15171
Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!
It's Saturday morning in Caerphilly and again Socialist Party campaigners calling for a proper Accident and Emergency department at the newly opened Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (hospital) are surrounded by an angry crowd.
"They said 'what did you come here for?' when I went to the A&E at the hospital" says a man who had been in a car accident and was feeling unwell the following day. "I said 'because it's my local hospital and this is the A&E department!'" shaking his head in disbelief. "They said I had to go to the Heath hospital in Cardiff. What's the point of building a new hospital and then refusing to treat people at the A&E? It was much better at the [closed] Caerphilly Miners' [hospital]"
"Not a hospital"
Patients cannot even have stitches at Ystrad Fawr or breaks put in plaster. One man had a heart attack outside the hospital and was taken by ambulance straight to the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport 15 miles away. "It's not a hospital - it's a clinic" said one woman signing our petition repeating the complaint of hundreds before her.
We waited years for the new hospital and several local hospitals were closed to be replaced by Ystrad Fawr. Now local people feel they have been conned. And hospital workers are disgusted too. Nurses explain that they are run off their feet at the new hospital because instead of multi-occupancy wards there are single rooms so it is harder for them to keep an eye on elderly patients. They have to walk miles further every day with the same or less nurses on duty.
Many people in the Rhymney Valley believe that the hospital was built with single rooms to allow work for private health to be done there.
£81 million over two years is being cut from the Aneurin Bevan local health board's budget by the Welsh government. The Con-Dem government is rightly getting the lion-share of the blame for the cutbacks but people are slowly realising that the Welsh Labour government, with its plan for 'centralising' hospital services, is also to blame. Welsh Labour plans to cover an area of 2,500 square miles and with a population of two million with just four Accident and Emergency departments!
If health chiefs want to find out what people think of that plan then let them come to Caerphilly!
The Socialist Party's demands include:
- No NHS cuts. For a publicly funded service, free at the point of use, to meet everyone's health needs
- End big business profiteering from the NHS. Scrap the costly and dangerous PFI schemes. Cancel all PFI debts
- Take all health services and buildings back from big business and place them under public ownership. Publicly fund and integrate them with the rest of the NHS
- End NHS job losses and low pay
- For a massive trade union-led struggle to defend the NHS, including a national demonstration and strike action
In The Socialist 5 September 2012:
Fight the cuts
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Countering the far-right
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news