Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2007

NHS: no more cuts, no more privatisation

GORDON BROWN is carrying on Tony Blair's policies of cutting and privatising the health service. As the report below illustrates, all over the country campaigners are having to fight blatant attacks on NHS services, as well as cuts through the back door as this or that service is cut or readied for privatisation.
Health workers in England are facing pay cuts. An independent pay review body awarded 2.5% but the government want to stage it, making it worth only 1.9%. But the 2.5% is being paid in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
UNISON's health service executive is discussing whether to call an industrial action ballot over pay. Even the Royal College of Nursing is consulting its members about holding a formal ballot for industrial action. And the Royal College of Midwives is balloting for action short of a strike.
The trade unions need to unite the campaigns to defend the NHS and fight for a living wage for a health workers. The national demonstration called by UNISON on 3 November must be urgently built for.

We often think that official consultations are a sham, but until you actually take part in one, you don't realise how much of a sham they are. Socialist Party members took part in an NHS consultation in East London last week.

Paula Mitchell

Having been campaigning to save Whipps Cross hospital for the last year, we went to find out the plans for Whipps and for London as a whole, and to make our protest - no to cuts and no to privatisation.

Our protest and stall outside were popular with the 40 or so participants - we sold 13 copies of the socialist.

Inside there was a slick presentation of Sir Ara Darzi's new framework for the NHS in London. Instead of district general hospitals, there will be a multi-layered system: GP centres, 'polyclinics' (which would do diagnostic tests and simple procedures like mole-removal), local hospitals, centres for planned surgery, acute hospitals for emergencies and specialist units for things like heart attacks, cancer etc.

No mention, of course, of what existing services would be cut, or who would provide these services. Participants heckled: "How can we struggle through London traffic to hospitals miles away?" but there was no answer.

This was followed by a presentation of the local Primary Care Trust's objectives - number one on the list was to balance the books by the end of the year! We were then treated to a speech by Professor Sir George Alberti, one of the originators of the ideas which led to Sir Darzi's framework, who grandly told us that hospitals in East London would close over his dead body.

But we quickly realised that while we were being 'consulted' on these historic changes, under the surface, unspoken but recognised by everyone in the room, are massive cuts and privatisations. We weren't actually going to be asked what we thought about any of it.

So we protested. Other participants protested too, and eventually the chair had to concede a time for general questions.

They only allowed three, but these got to the heart of the matter: If closures are over your dead body, why has the diabetic unit in Whipps Cross been shut down? Who will run the polyclinics - private health companies? Isn't it true that underneath all these specialist units and centres of excellence there are millions of pounds of cuts?

As soon as we and others made points about cuts and privatisation, everyone agreed with us. People don't want specialist hospitals at the expense of existing provision, and they don't want polyclinics run by private companies sucking profits out of the NHS.

At the end of the consultation the talk in the ante-chambers was all about cuts and privatisation and how we need to continue the fight. And the facilitator of our group bought a copy of the socialist!

There is something ironic about (soon to be Lord) Darzi's plans for polyclinics. These existed in the former Soviet Union.

But after the collapse of Stalinism the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) went to Russia "with the aim of accelerating the process of strategic change in the delivery of healthcare."

The DFID attempted to change the primary health care system from one based on polyclinics to one based on GP family-practices!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 26 July 2007:

New Labour ignored flood warnings

Government cuts add to flooding crisis

Floods - who pays the bill?

Postal workers' strike

Postal workers: Their fight is our fight

Critical dispute for postal workers

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: no more cuts, no more privatisation

Socialist Party news and analysis

Support Glasgow's social work strikers

Metronet walks away from trouble...

Airports industry expansion plans fail to take off

Brown's 'affordable housing' plan - all smoke and mirrors?

Tales from the council chambers

Tories save New Labour skins

If this is New Labour democracy...

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

The China Effect

Socialist Party reviews

Vicious bile and grovelling sweet talk

Why do we watch Big Brother?

Workplace news and analysis

Visteon workers continue fight for jobs

National Shop Stewards' Network hits the ground running

Another missed opportunity on teachers' pay

International socialist news and analysis

Erdogan's election victory reveals Turkey's faultlines

Mass protests planned at the APEC summit

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Rally for Socialism

Socialist Party summer camp


Home   |   The Socialist 26 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally


triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita


triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

triangleLeeds college workers protest poor pay rises

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Northern Ireland:

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangleWeakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn


triangleWhat does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?


triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

Trade unions:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Trade unions:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Tony Blair:

triangleLeft comic's take on politics will have you in tears

Gordon Brown:

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party


triangleA day in the life of a midwife


triangleNo to privatised polyclinics

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee


Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice