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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2017

Tories refuse extra cash to health service

NHS cuts kill!

Marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch

Marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Caroline Vincent, Leicester Socialist Party

The Tories' mission to wreck our NHS continues, as funding looks set to fall to a historic low for our already horrifically overstretched health service.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has delivered a further kick in the teeth, refusing to provide a desperately needed emergency injection of 4 billion that has been demanded by NHS chief Simon Stevens. Hammond's response? That heads of public services always predict 'Armageddon' in the run-up to a budget!

Hot on the heels of the news that 120,000 deaths have now been linked to Tory austerity, this glib dismissal from Hammond is offensive in the extreme. The urgency has not been overstated, far from it! Cuts are literally killing people.

This summer, hospitals faced the sort of strain that they normally only encounter in winter months. Hence the fear that this year will see a winter crisis of catastrophic proportions. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of services for patients leaving hospital.

I have recently experienced how brilliant, and yet frighteningly stretched, the health service is. Earlier this month my brother was admitted to intensive care at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, having suffered a cardiac arrest and brain injury. He received excellent, life-saving care.

However, despite the doctors explaining that he was extremely vulnerable and unable to look after himself, I discovered that there were no longer any services available in the community to provide any help once he left hospital. The only option was to care for him myself.

Cruel cuts to health and social care are devastating to patients and family members. And what happens to patients who don't have the support of a family to take up the slack?

We need a fully funded health service, alongside social services that can relieve the strain. Up and down the country people have shown their willingness to fight to save the NHS with local protests and marches.

What's needed now is for Jeremy Corbyn and the trade unions to call for a mass demonstration and coordinated strike action to bring this weak Tory government to their knees, and put an end to cuts that wreck lives.

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In The Socialist 22 November 2017:


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