Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/966/26274
From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2017
NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts
NHS in crisis (Click to enlarge)
There's more evidence that the National Health Service (NHS) is in meltdown. This time it comes from the Care Quality Commission inspectorate.
Its report identified: massive staff shortages, with vacancy rates in the NHS rising by 16% over the last two years; hospital bed shortages, with occupancy levels being consistently above recommended levels since April 2012; decreasing numbers of nursing homes beds - down by 4,000 in two years; more people not getting support for their social care needs; a 20% increase in people detained under the Mental Health Act.
This crisis is the result of successive governments' toxic policies of cuts, underinvestment, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) privatisation and outsourcing, rip-off drug prices and medical supplies costs, and several disastrous reorganisations of the NHS into competing trusts.
All this is set to intensify with the Tories misnamed 'sustainability and transformation plans' (STPs). Under STPs a further £22 billion of cuts are being rammed through the NHS by 2020. All trusts - many saddled with enormous PFI debt - will have to clear their accumulated deficits by then. If this happens then more A&E and ward closures with the loss of hospital beds will follow, along with unfilled nursing posts, and cuts to GP services.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's call to scrap PFI and bring health services back in-house is therefore welcome. However, patients and health workers can't wait for a future Labour government. Industrial action by healthworkers, along with community protests and a mass trade union organised national demonstration, is needed now to stop the cuts.
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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.
- 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 11 October 2017:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories
Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty
IMF helps cause inequality it slams
NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts
Them & Us
Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't
Black History Month 2017
The fight against racial discrimination is tied to the fight to defeat capitalist austerity
Socialist Party workplace news
Royal Mail workers fight court attempt to stop national strike
Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs
Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights
Workplace news in brief
Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right
No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish
Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP
Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg
Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation
Join the Orgreave Halloween rally
Too much to cross the Mersey
Comment and reviews
Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks
Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares
Shocking insight into Isis
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 11 October 2017 |
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