Photo Iain Dalton

Photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Andrew Walton, Leicester Socialist Party

Our NHS is under attack like never before, and we must act now to save it. As an NHS worker and Unison member, I chaired a protest organised by Leicestershire Against The Cuts on 9 April.

It brought together campaigners from groups such as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, the Socialist Party, Momentum, and Keep Our NHS Public, alongside other trade unionists and junior doctors. We had a lively rally and march through Leicester city centre, with many students and young people raising their voices – we need our public health service to still be there for future generations.

People were angry that cuts are being made to local NHS services – the nearby Hinckley and Bosworth Community Hospital is earmarked for closure and 400 beds are under threat at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Adoctor on a picket line at Leicester General Hospital said that junior doctors are seen as an easy target, as their contract is up for renewal.

Jeremy Hunt is seeking to impose a new contract, without any meaningful negotiation. Doctors do not want to go on strike, but when patient care and the future of the NHS is at stake, they have no other choice.

Jon Dale, a Unite member, put forward the Socialist Party’s alternative. We stand for investment into our healthcare service. We would scrap extortionate PFI deals, where health trusts owe private companies billions of pounds. We would kick out the fat cats from our health service by abolishing the Health and Social Care Act, which has opened NHS services up to tender to “any willing provider”.

We demand a publicly-owned, properly funded National Health Service. The Tories want to get rid of the NHS. If you want to protect our health service, join the socialists!