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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2011

Save our NHS

After minimal amendments, and in the face of continued public opposition, Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill has passed through its third and final reading in the House of Commons.

The public sector workers' union, Unison, has described the bill as causing "huge damage to patient care and [wasting] vast sums of public money. The plans will turn the NHS into a business where our taxes will increasingly pay for profit-driven companies to provide our health care."

But it is not just the trade unions that are worried about this bill becoming law. The British Medical Association doctors' organisation has explained that they "believe that the government's reform plans pose an unacceptably high risk to the NHS, threatening its ability to operate effectively and equitably, now and in the future" due to a continued "inappropriate and misguided reliance on 'market forces' to shape services."

The changes put forward in the bill represent the most fundamental attack on the NHS in its 63-year history. The bill's implementation would mean there would no longer be a guarantee that necessary services be provided by the NHS, but only that services will be provided by "Any Qualified Provider".

It would move the legal duty to provide health care away from the Health Secretary to local commissioners. It would mean the complete abolition of Primary Care Trusts. It would push all NHS Trusts into Foundation Trusts, breaking up the very idea of a national health services.

Clearly this bill must continue to be opposed, along with all the cuts and privatisations within the NHS.

The bill now moves to the House of Lords, where the likes of Tory Lord Tebbit and Lib Dem Baroness Williams have suggested they will oppose it.

However, the fight for the future of the NHS has no chance in the hands of such right-wing people. The health workers' unions must take advantage of the strength of feeling against Lansley's plans, and unite with local communities. They must fight to defend and extend the founding principles of the NHS with trade union action at the heart of the campaign.

Michael Wrack

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 September 2011:


Socialist Party features

We need a programme of action to fight back!

Austerity policies strangle growth


Socialist Party youth and students

Pampered politicians plan education massacre... STOP THEM!

Low pay and the housing crisis

Youth must join pensions struggle

EMA cuts: doors close on our future

Cuts hit young people hard in Hastings


Stop attacks on pensions

Hands off our pensions!

NHS pensions - Pay more, work longer and get less!


Socialist Party workplace news

Bombardier

Support Wyndeham workers

No to pay cuts in Carmarthenshire

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

How can the national rights of Palestinians be achieved?


Socialist Party news and analysis

NSSN calls on TUC to open the floodgates of mass action

Nationalise the banking system!

Childcare costs push parents into hardship

Save our NHS

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Power and terror


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save Surrey libraries!

Bristol: Labour's short-lived valour

Hundreds march against Dale Farm evictions

May Day protest case goes to Strasbourg


 

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