Barts NHS strike. Photo: James Ivens
Barts NHS strike. Photo: James Ivens

Vote Socialist, because Starmer’s Labour doesn’t stand for us

Maggie Fricker, Southampton Socialist Party and health worker

It won’t surprise anyone to hear that NHS waiting lists have gone up yet again – despite the Tories repeatedly claiming the opposite – to a staggering 7.57 million. That’s 40,000 more people living with the fear and pain these long waits impose.

The NHS has been at breaking point for so long now it’s become routine. The Tories have devastated services across the board, creating chaos and misery. People struggle to see their GP, wait for hours in overcrowded A&E departments, get stuck in hospital because there is no available care in the community, or wait months for operations they desperately need.

Health workers want to give the very best care possible, it’s part of our training to put our patients first. But the reality is so different. The failings to meet cancer treatment targets, A&E waiting targets and performance targets belong with this ruthless Tory government. After years of austerity, is it any wonder that people are becoming sicker, with record attendance figures at A&E departments?

NHS staff ‘productivity’ is up but we see no reward for our hard work and people are leaving the service in droves. We are desperate to be rid of the Tories but none of us are happy with the alternative. Most staff will tell you Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting is talking nonsense if he thinks partnership with the private sector and asking staff to do more overtime will bring waiting lists down.

We need an alternative to the vague promises of the establishment politicians. We fully support the junior doctors taking strike action 27 June – 2 July, demanding the pay restoration we all need. Socialist Party members are standing in the general election, demanding the massive increase in funding the NHS needs and to kick out the private profiteers. We also need to remove the crushing burden of tuition fees for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. As the Royal College of Nursing, whose members took historic nationwide strike action for the first time during the strike wave, have put it: “There will be no place to hide for the next government”. We will be fighting for our NHS from day one.

Maggie is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Southampton Test, and a trade union rep for the Society of Radiographers (personal capacity)Normal