NHS protest. Photo: Mary Finch
NHS protest. Photo: Mary Finch

Rallies took place in support of the NHS across the country on 28 February demanding the resources the health service needs, which Socialist Party members attended.

Leicester Socialist Party

200 people attended a street rally organised by Save Our NHS Leicestershire as part of a national day of action called over the crisis in the NHS and in support of striking health workers.

The rally, chaired by Socialist Party member Steve Score, was supported by the local Trades Union Council, Unite Community and Enough is Enough Leicester. Speakers included local health workers, and trade union reps.

Several speakers drew the link between the staffing shortage in the NHS and the fight for decent pay, and that the money does exist to restore the cuts in living standards and to properly fund the NHS. From the vast profits of the oil companies to the huge rise in wealth owned by the billionaires and the tax evasion of the likes of Zahawi who “carelessly” set up offshore accounts and didn’t pay millions in tax, examples were given of where the money could come from.

The campaign plans a big public meeting on 4 March to hear the case on “how the NHS can be fixed for patients and workers”.

Steve rounded up the rally by saying that the massive, coordinated strike action planned for 1 February could be a starting point to build for a 24-hour general strike to fight the cost-of-living crisis and for a properly funded NHS.

Kevin Pattison, Leeds Socialist Party

Over 100 people joined a demonstration across the road from the site of the proposed new Leeds Children’s Hospital, one of those promised in the Tories’ 2019 manifesto.

However, the only funding so far received by the Trust was to demolish the old buildings and prepare the site. No work to build anything has been started.

Local Blairite MP Hilary Benn‘s criticism of Tory privatisation was met with: “What about Wes Streeting’s comments” and shouts in support of Corbyn. 

We then marched to the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ protest. One doctor there said they’d never clear the 7.1 million waiting list while staff were underpaid and leaving the profession.