Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/498/3029
The Socialist 9 August 2007 |
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Leicester cutbacks -
"How many more will suffer?"
Geoff Wright, campaigning in Leicester against health cuts affecting people with mobility problems, photo Steve Score
THE UNIVERSITY Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust has ditched plans to revamp three hospitals under the ruinously expensive private finance initiative (PFI) scheme, but the cuts in jobs and services continue. The headline cuts are 900 jobs going in the three main hospitals, but there are many "small" cuts that affect people's lives.
Geoff Wright has been campaigning against Leicester General Hospital's policy of no longer transporting people with mobility problems to routine appointments. The Socialist Party is helping Geoff with his campaign, including petitioning the area health authority. He told the socialist:
"We've been told we can't book ambulances any more, we have to get taxis and pay for it out of our mobility allowance. But if all our money is spent on mobility scooters, then how do we get long distances into hospital? In the last month I missed four hospital appointments and as a result got worse and landed in the hospital last weekend to be revived.
"How many more people are going to suffer like me and have to pay for these things? Not only that, if people like me and the elderly can't get to hospital, it means their families have to get days off work and lose wages.
"It just seems to be the General, not Leicester's other two hospitals, although they all come under the same trust. This is a recent change of policy. I have been campaigning against it on television and in the newspapers, and I am still fighting.
"It's discrimination against disabled people, not the first we have suffered. Back in January, the government made us tax our scooters. Many things are going against the disabled at the moment, in the NHS and in general."