Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/449/5358
Pontefract and Wakefield:
No to cuts, no to privatisation
NHS SERVICES in the Pontefract and Wakefield district face a shake-up. The council's planning committee has given the go-ahead for the £250 million hospitals development project that proposes to replace Pontefract General Infirmary and Pinderfields General Hospital.
Mick Griffiths, secretary and Adrian O'Malley, chair, Wakefield and Pontefract Hospital UNISON (personal capacity)
To meet the new privately financed developments, hundreds of beds will be lost while staff face a massive cut in the pay bill. Pontefract General Infirmary will ultimately close as a general acute hospital, to become a glorified outpatients/ day case centre.
Trust bosses and the private sector financiers are drawing up the 30-year mortgage contract deal. Under the cloak of commercial confidentiality, they will decide what services are provided and at what cost.
Whatever the outcome, the public will be expected to pay much more for the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme. The private sector is guaranteed its profits; these schemes usually cost three or four times more than do publicly funded developments.
Staff have already been sent notices of potential redundancies. As usual workers are expected to pay the price of the NHS funding crisis.
UNISON health group policy is for national industrial action to stop this government in its tracks.
Health workers in our trust aren't prepared to take this lying down. Locally NHS Logistics in Normanton and the Prescription Pricing Authority office in Wakefield are also up for closure, job cuts and privatisation.
We're determined to join forces with the local community and begin a campaign of resistance and fightback.
We're starting with a public meeting initiated with the trades council's help (details page 12) as a springboard towards setting up a broad-based 'no cuts, no privatisation' campaign.
In The Socialist 20 July 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Scottish Socialist Party
Campaign for a New Workers Party