Hands off our NHS!

The Con-Dems are intent on attacking us on every front. The cuts to the health service will cost lives. Despite promising to ‘ring-fence’ the NHS, billions of pounds of ‘efficiency savings’ initiated by the previous Labour government have been viciously continued by the Con-Dems.

Tens of thousands of health workers’ jobs will disappear and whole wards are being closed.

The push to convert all NHS hospitals to ‘Foundation Trust’ status – initiated by the last New Labour government – will reinforce the NHS’s ‘internal market’ (in which private health care companies now have a significant stake). Private contractors are drooling at the prospect.

The government’s white paper: ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS’ proposes changes that will effectively hand over the bulk of the health budget to privately run corporations whose profit-driven motive will result in further cutbacks and the break-up of the NHS as we know it. Even top doctors have warned that this will create major problems.

Opposition to the white paper has also made it onto YouTube in MC Nxt Gen’s online hit ‘the Andrew Lansley rap’ which includes the following verse: Lansley’s white paper: ‘Liberating the NHS’ sets out a plan where we’ll become more like the US and care will be farmed out to private companies, who will sell their service to the NHS via the GPs, who will have more to do with service purchase arrangements than anything to do with seeing their patients.

The government will face enormous anger from NHS workers, trade unions, and the wider community in trying to implement these plans. Many on the 26 March TUC demonstration held placards demanding an end to the job cuts, closures and privatisation in the NHS. United action against cuts, including to the NHS, can stop these plans.

We demand:

  • No to Con-Dem attacks on the NHS!
  • End NHS job losses and low pay. Give health workers an above-inflation pay increase.
  • Defend pensions.
  • Abolish the business competition of ‘internal market’, trusts, and ‘payment by results’.
  • End all privatisation through GP consortiums or other methods. Return privatised services to NHS control. Publicly fund and integrate them with the rest of the NHS.
  • End Foundation Trusts. Build democratic control of local health services by elected health workers and community representatives as well as elected reps from local and national government.
  • Nationalise the big construction companies, service companies, medical supply and pharmaceutical industries that are taking billions of pounds out of the NHS. Bring them under working class control and management.
  • Build anti-cuts unions in every area to defend the NHS. To save the NHS we need to work with the health unions, patients’ organisations, those GP practices opposed to the changes, and the public, to start the fightback.
  • For socialist planning to end poverty and inequality – the biggest killers and causes of ill health.