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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 July 2013

NHS: cuts ration care

Bob Severn
Nurses protest on the 20 October 2012 TUC demo , photo Senan

Nurses protest on the 20 October 2012 TUC demo , photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

The medical director of NHS England, Bruce Keogh, has said the NHS should be run like Dixons or PC World with a "more for less" mentality - he must mean more profits, less healthcare, poor service and closures (all Dixons shops closed in 2006!).

But already, a study has shown that the lack of adequate staffing means that nurses 'ration' the care they give to patients because of pressures on their time. Areas most likely to be cut back on are talking to patients, adequate monitoring, recording details of care, and pain management. Unsurprisingly, the problem was shown to be worst in the hospitals with fewer staff per patients.

This blows out of the water the idea that poor care is because of uncaring nurses. Many simply do not have the time and resources to do the job they are trained for because of understaffing and cuts.

The evidence for this BMJ Quality and Safety medical journal study was gathered in 2010 - before most of the 7,000-plus nursing jobs cuts made so far under the Con-Dems! And more redundancies are on the way - 140 hospital foundation trusts plan to slash 30,000 jobs by 2016.

The government and media talk about a 30 billion NHS funding gap by 2020. But this 'shortfall' could be more than met if the government scrapped all PFI (Private Finance Initiative - 'Profit from Illness'!) in the NHS.

Robbery

PFI is like taking out a high interest mortgage, but the lender owns the house at the end of the loan! And while everything else in the NHS gets slashed, the PFI payments stay. The total cost of all PFI (including non-NHS) has been measured at over 300 billion!

PFI was a favourite scheme of New Labour, but despite criticising PFI in opposition, the Tories' only new hospital - Alder Hey in Liverpool - has been built under the costly system.

Of course, two more easy ways of 'plugging the gap' would be to kick big business out of the NHS and make the rich and corporations pay tax!

Another money saver would be to take the drugs companies under democratic working class control and management. This would stop the pushing up of drug prices by up to 2,000%, as reported in the last issue of the Socialist.

North West TUC is organising a demo outside the Tory party conference in September.

But we can't just stop at demonstrating - the health unions, especially Unison, should be organising national strike action to stop the break-up and privatisation of the NHS.

This would be best done as a part of a 24-hour general strike by all unions in opposition to austerity.

But we also need political representation- the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour all agree that the NHS should be cut, broken up and privatised. That is why the Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which stands in elections against all cuts and privatisation.

See also: National Health Service in crisis

Protest at the Tory Conference in Manchester

SAVE OUR NHS

Defend Jobs and Services - No to Austerity

March and Rally - Sunday 29 September

Assemble at Liverpool Road, M3 4FP, 11am
Marching to a rally in Whitworth Park

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In The Socialist 31 July 2013:


Socialist Party NHS news and analysis

NHS: cuts ration care

National Health Service in crisis!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Miliband's 'Clause Four moment'

Unite "at a turning point"

Benefits shock: London family on state handouts avoids the benefit cap and bedroom tax

Them & Us


Climate change

Climate change accelerates... but capitalism sets the agenda


International socialist news and analysis

The capitalist world in turmoil

Tunisia: Political assassination provokes renewed workers' struggles

Neither the military nor Morsi... for a workers' government


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anti-bedroom tax campaigning

Lambeth byelection: TUSC beats Ukip and Tories

Zero hours contract scandal

Atos misery: scrap work capability assessments!

Tamil Solidarity links with RMT

Building the Socialist Party

The Socialist summer schedule


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike to stop Royal Mail sell-off

Two weeks of strike action by Churchill cleaners

One Housing support workers - more determined than ever!

Workplace In brief


Socialist Party review

Book review: Karl Marx - How to change the world


 

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