Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1001/27540

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 June 2018

Fight to save the Wales NHS

Over 200 determined campaigners marched through Caerphilly town centre on Saturday 16 February, demanding the return of a local A&E, photo Becky Davis

Over 200 determined campaigners marched through Caerphilly town centre on Saturday 16 February, demanding the return of a local A&E, photo Becky Davis   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

Hundreds will be rallying in Tredegar in south Wales on 1 July to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. The march assembles at the house of Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS, who based the principles of the NHS on the Tredegar Workmen's Medical Aid Society.

He used his experience in providing cheap healthcare in Tredegar as a model for a national health service. He said: "All I am doing is extending to the entire population of Britain the benefits we had in Tredegar for a generation or more. We are going to 'Tredegar-ise' you."

Bevan attempted to apply socialist policies to solving the health crisis in Britain after World War Two. The concessions he made to private vested interests - the continuation of private health for the wealthy, GP and other services being provided by private business and the unaccountable nature of the health authorities - have haunted the NHS ever since.

Bevan had to overcome the opposition of the Tories and leaders of the medical professions who fought tooth and nail against the NHS being formed at all. And the Tories have been attempting to unravel the gains of the NHS ever since.

But Bevan also faced opposition from within his own party - the Labour right wing who echoed Tory arguments that the NHS was "unaffordable". In 1951 Bevan resigned from the cabinet when the right-wing Labour chancellor Hugh Gaitskell imposed prescription and dental charges. Later in the 2000s Gaitskell's heirs, Blair and Brown, drove through even more privatisation of the NHS than the Tories had.

And the principles underpinning the NHS are currently under threat in Wales from Welsh Labour. While the demands on the health service have grown, spending in real terms has been cut and access to its provisions has been reduced. Welsh Labour has taken an axe to many services, including A&Es.

The Welsh government intends just five A&E departments for the whole of south Wales. Communities in the south Wales Valleys are still campaigning for NHS services to be returned, while the Welsh health minister considers more cuts.

Cuts

The cuts to the NHS are framed around the idea that there are certain objective forces that are inevitable and the health service must be reorganised to take account of these - an ageing population, an increased demand for health services, a scarcity of doctors and nurses and "scarce resources" (spending cuts).

An ageing population means that spending on the NHS in Wales should be increased not held back. Scarce resources are not inevitable - they are human-made by Tory and Labour governments. The Tory cuts must be fought.

Instead of pretending that the cuts to NHS services are the best way forward, the Welsh government should lead a campaign to force this weak Tory government to come up with the cash. The fact that the Tories have grudgingly been compelled to promise more money for the NHS in the future, shows that they are under pressure.

The Welsh Labour leaders have not even protested against the Tory cuts to Welsh health spending. They have passively accepted them, seemingly accepting the Tory argument that there is no alternative to the cuts. But of course, as Jeremy Corbyn has pointed out, these cuts are not inevitable - they are a political decision. So too is the decision to cave in to spending cuts and implement an entirely reconfigured health service to match Tory spending priorities.

Where would the money come from? Well if the 20 billion a year cut from corporation tax by the Tories were returned then immediately the Welsh closure programme could be reversed. If we nationalised the pharmaceutical companies and the rest of the private sector that rip off the health service we would save billions.

Socialist Party Wales demands:


Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 27 June 2018:


NHS SOS

30 June NHS demo: prepare for a mass movement

Fight to save the Wales NHS

Gosport opioid deaths scandal: we need democratic control of our NHS


Socialist Party news and analysis

Walk out on 13 July against 'Kid Cager' Trump

Tottenham block evacuations a test for 'Corbynista council'

The bosses are 'dishonest' - not Militant and its supporters

Them & us


International socialist news and analysis

The gathering new world disorder

Turkey's 'strongman' Erdogan tightens grip on state power


Socialist Party women

Defending women's services


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union pay strike ballot - win the vote, win the claim

Unite union conference - drive out the Tories!

East Dunbartonshire council workers strike to stop pay and leave cuts

Unison union conference: delegates can't be cowed

NHS Mid Yorkshire strike suspended

NSSN conference, 7 July 2018: fighting back against the Tories and bosses

Homes and Communities Agency workers vote to strike over pay cuts and inequality


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands snap up issue 1000 of the Socialist

Fighting for rights for Windrush generation and other migrants

Fight to save Devon hospital services

Support growing against incinerator in Washington

Hull unions organise 'Engage for Change' festival

Huddersfield set to lose two town centre post offices


Opinion

Prison: life inside a living hell

Blairite cuts and restructures make social work dangerous

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 June 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Wales:

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleTories sinking in Wales but no enthusiasm for Welsh Labour

triangleVictory for Royal Glamorgan A&E!

triangleParents' protests against Welsh schools reopening

triangleOppose the Welsh government's reckless return to school plan

NHS:

triangleA socialist NHS fit for heroes

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleContact tracing fiasco: You can't believe a word the government tells us

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: How the NHS was won

Health:

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

triangleAs a health worker, I had to march against racism

triangleTest-and-trace fiasco - the ringing of the cash till

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

1/7/20

Coronavirus

Tory full return to school plans gamble with lives

1/7/20

Trans rights

Yes to self-identity

1/7/20

Waste

Plastic waste ignored

1/7/20

Covid

Tories put profit before lives

1/7/20

NHS

A socialist NHS fit for heroes

1/7/20

Labour Party

Workers need a new mass party to defend their interests

1/7/20

Food

News in brief

1/7/20

Tory party

Capitalism and corruption go hand in hand

1/7/20

Government

Boris's new big deal

1/7/20

Benefits

Benefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

30/6/20

Britain

A new movement for system change

24/6/20

Housing

Act now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

24/6/20

South Wales

Victory for Royal Glamorgan A&E!

24/6/20

Coronavirus

Lifting the lockdown: workers must not pay the price

24/6/20

Young people

Young people fighting back: Jobs and homes, not racism

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999