Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/792/17876
Fight for our NHS: Public health, not private profit
The latest measure of the cuts crisis in the NHS is the revelation that some patients are being forced to wait in ambulances outside hospitals because there is no bed for them and no staff to treat them.
The BBC recently asked all UK ambulance services for their waiting figures. This revealed that many patients have to wait in ambulances outside hospital for at least an hour, many around two hours. One ambulance in Wales was 'queuing' for six hours 22 minutes!
NHS England claims waiting times are improving but these figures relate to the summer months.
Now the cold winter weather is beginning to bite and people face ever-rising fuel bills, particularly older people who are vulnerable to cold-related illnesses.
These can only be exacerbated if they have to wait outside hospital in an ambulance for hours on end.
Scandalous situations like these are of course a direct result of the Con-Dems' policy of cuts and privatisation.
This has led to staff shortages and the closure of A&E departments entirely in some areas, putting further pressure on those that remain.
But we shouldn't let Labour off the hook.
They paved the way for privatisation while they were in office and they championed the Private Finance Imitative which is bleeding our hospitals and health service dry while lining the pockets of the construction bosses.
Labour councils are also cutting services such as homecare and are doing nothing to increase the amount of accessible housing.
So frail older people get stuck in hospital with no suitable home to go to. And the ambulances line up outside with more patients needing hospital care.
Care workers working in the community are having to fight the cuts in their pay and conditions. Some find themselves working for less than the minimum wage because council contractors don't pay them for travel time between visits.
None of the establishment parties can be excused from the mess they have made of the NHS and the care services in general. Time for organised action to rebuild what we have won in the past.
Time for a 24-hour general strike against austerity and cuts. Time to build a new mass workers' party which can really represent the interests of working people.
The Socialist Party fights for:
- No cuts. Abolish the Health and Social Care Act which allows the further selling off of our NHS to private companies in England
- End big business profiteering from the NHS: Abandon the Private Finance Initiative which is bleeding the NHS dry
- End NHS job losses and low pay. No downbanding
- A fully publicly funded high-quality NHS, free for all at the point of use
- United action to defend the NHS - the TUC must name the day for a 24-hour general strike against austerity
Defend the NHS!
A compilation of articles by campaigners fighting to stop the destruction of the NHS
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In The Socialist 11 December 2013:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition