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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2012

Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!

Dave Reid
Save the NHS! London protest 7 Sep 2011, photo Dave Carr

Save the NHS! London protest 7 Sep 2011, photo Dave Carr   (Click to enlarge)

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:

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In The Socialist 5 September 2012:

Fight the cuts

On 20 October... March Together and then we must... Strike Together! to end austerity

Osborne's cuts plans aren't working

Socialist Party news and analysis

Southampton council pay dispute

London Met university crisis

Con-Dems criminalise homeless people

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Marikana massacre ignites a political volcano

Countering the far-right

EDL rally stopped by anti-racists in Walthamstow

Stopping the far-right - The need for democratic debate

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Save Oaklands Pool

Building TUSC in Manchester

Fight begins against massive outsourcing by Knowsley's Labour council

Campaign Kazakhstan: Solidarity concert for those facing oppression

London Paralympics; protests against disability cuts: "Atos kills, kill Atos!"

Hospitals lacking services? Save our NHS!

Boris' workfare - no solution

Brighton Pride 2012: anti-cuts group blocked

Socialist Party subs appeal

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison Higher Education Service Group

Workplace news in brief

Readers' comments

From addiction to recovery

Volunteering at the Games


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