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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2016

NHS: Stop the Tory vandals

Elaine Brunskill, Socialist Party Northern secretary
Tory cuts are aimed in part at destroying public confidence to soften the service up for privatisation, ward photo Yuya Tamai (Creative Commons), scissors photo Wikimedia Commons, composite James Ivens

Tory cuts are aimed in part at destroying public confidence to soften the service up for privatisation, ward photo Yuya Tamai (Creative Commons), scissors photo Wikimedia Commons, composite James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

The Tory plan to privatise the NHS via the back door has given way to smashing in via the main entrance.

Their next attack is NHS England's shadowy 'sustainability and trans-formation plans' (STPs). Under these ruthless schemes, the government aims to make a further 22 billion of NHS cuts by 2020, with dire consequences for patient care.

If you haven't heard of these proposals - don't be too hard on yourself. Despite their huge impact, a survey of 310 members of doctors' union BMA revealed a third had never heard of STPs.

Meanwhile, the NHS is still suffering from the hammer blows inflicted over 30 years by successive Tory and Labour governments.

The Guardian recently reported that seriously ill children were having to be transported long distances in order to receive intensive care. This included London where all the beds for paediatric intensive care across seven hospitals were full to capacity.

The number of patients waiting for over an hour for an ambulance to arrive has almost tripled over the last two years. And the nightmare isn't necessarily over once the ambulance turns up, as many patients have to wait for hours in the ambulance for beds to become available.

Undoubtedly this callous Tory government hopes the severity of the cuts will turn people against the NHS, making handing it to their big business friends seem the only option available. However, even with all its current problems, the NHS remains incredibly popular.

People understand that every local attack needs to be fought. Campaigns to save local services are springing up in towns and cities across Britain.

In Leicester, tens of thousands have signed a petition to save the Glenfield heart unit. Huddersfield's campaign to save its A&E organised a huge demo earlier this year. A campaign in North Tyneside against proposals to close walk-in centres is about to mushroom.

These local campaigns will be a springboard for the national 'It's Our NHS' demo on 4 March 2017 in London. Now is the time to fight and fight again!

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In The Socialist 7 December 2016:

What we think

No more concessions to Labour right!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for a socialist Brexit

Conservatives humiliated in Richmond

Newham council to sack up to 1,300

Slump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

Workers can fight Uber-style care

Compensation disabled

Them & Us

Food banks feature

Food banks and the real Daniel Blakes

NHS crisis and fightback

NHS: Stop the Tory vandals

Hundreds protest the decimation of Devon NHS

Massive support in Stoke for action to save the NHS

Health campaigners in Yorkshire protest "slash and trash plans"

International socialist news and analysis

Victory at Standing Rock: US authorities agree to re-route oil pipeline

Spain: Government forced back by Student Union mobilisations

Italy: Establishment routed - workers alternative needed

Portugal: No to witch-hunts - fight the capitalists not socialists

Austria: Far right temporarily halted

Sudan: General strike in defiance of regime

Socialist Party workplace news

Durham TAs force Labour to suspend pay cuts

Protest against Glasgow Labour's scab workforce plan to defeat Unison strike

Crossrail action in defence of victimised union rep

Unison members barely earning the living wage in some universities

Sacked bakers' union rep Kumaran Bose calls for living wage 'protection'

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bolton council gives 300k to solicitors while making swingeing cuts

Reading TUSC writes to Labour councillors to demand cuts fight

John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Obituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016


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