Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/831/19589
The Socialist 29 October 2014 |
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Our health is not a game!
Claire Job, Welsh NHS Nurse
The right-wing Daily Mail has continued its tradition of irresponsible journalism recently, with an unprecedented number of articles attacking Labour-managed NHS Wales. It kicks-off an offensive Tory electioneering campaign which basically consists of saying: 'our NHS isn't as bad as your NHS' and 'this is what you get if you vote Labour into office'.
Indeed, the Mail online gratuitously emphasises Prime Minister David Cameron's comment that the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) "was welcome to visit the health service in England to compare it to scandal-hit Wales".
The Con-Dem austerity package has made significant fissures in the health of ordinary people both sides of the border.
In Wales, although the NHS is coordinated and organised centrally (escaping the horrors of privatisation in NHS England) the cuts to spending on healthcare have been considerable.
The Welsh government, instead of fighting the Tory-led government cuts, has overseen a real terms cut of 2.5% in health spending per head of the population since 2009, a bigger reduction than any other part of the UK.
This is because the Welsh government decided not to ring-fence NHS funding in the early days of Con-Dem austerity.
While the Tories in Westminster kick the NHS in Wales, and the Labour Welsh government kicks the English NHS in return, real people's lives are held in the balance.
The NHS on both sides of the border requires major investment, and the privatisation of health services in England must be urgently reversed, if we are to meet the health needs of the population.
This isn't a game! It is ridiculous to imagine that Cameron cares about the health of people in Wales, especially as he seems not to care about the health of people in England. He only cares about rich people, which makes his comments all the more repulsive.