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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2018

New health secretary. Same privatisation agenda.

Fight to save our NHS!

Marching for the NHS, photo by Paul Mattsson

Marching for the NHS, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Beth Webster, nurse and Cardiff West Socialist Party

Anyone breathing a sigh of relief at seeing the back of Jeremy Hunt as health secretary should take a closer look at his replacement Matt Hancock. As well as consistently voting to speed up NHS privatisation, he's taken 32,000 in donations from a millionaire businessman who thinks the NHS should be abolished.

Meanwhile the NHS crisis is worsening. Acute mental health beds have fallen by 30% since 2009. Ambulance response times are still rising, NHS England is short of 100,000 staff, and operations such as hernia repair and tonsil removal are being rationed. Hospitals and services are closing across England and Wales. Whatever Hancock says about his "heartbreak" for NHS staff, he's just as intent on privatising the NHS for profit as Hunt.

In Hancock's first speech as health secretary, he announced plans to invest 412 million in improving NHS technology - it seems there's no magic money tree for staff or basic operations, but there is to invest in private technology companies.

Successful public campaigns against service closures such as Glenfield children's heart unit in Leicester show that when we fight, we can win. The mere threat of industrial action by NHS staff forced the government to scrap the pay cap. But the failure of trade union leadership meant NHS staff were only offered a paltry deal of 6.5% over three years. Even this has been revealed to be a sham with some staff getting thousands less than they had been led to expect.

The Tories are disintegrating by the day. May has no credibility even in her own party, and no way to balance the anger of working class people and the interests of big business. Health unions need to build for strike action, fighting to link up and coordinate action with workers across the public sector.

Jeremy Corbyn should be calling for mass action to defend our NHS and bring down the Tory government.He must boldly pledge real funding for the health service, reversal of privatisation and scrapping of private finance initiative deals. A mass movement could bring the Tories down. Join the Socialist Party, join the fight back, and let's kick the Tories out for good!

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In The Socialist 25 July 2018:


What we think

Corbyn and unions must act to bring down government in crisis


News

New health secretary, same privatisation agenda

Fight the racist far right

Universal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Dodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

Them & Us


Workplace

PCS members back fightback on pay - keep building pressure

Blacklisting of Militant supporters by Thatcher government revealed

Victory for Swansea postal workers against management victimisation

Hull recycling workers win right to sick pay

EDF Energy strike victory against vehicle tracker device

Sheffield tram workers strike for 72 hours


Trump protests

250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

School students: why we walked out against Trump

Protesting Trump's visit - action around the country


Nationalisation

The case for socialist nationalisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kentish Road victory: Respite centre saved by determined campaign

Tories' LGBT Action Plan: 'A cynical ploy with no solutions'

Fighting for trans rights at Bristol pride

10,000 at Northern Pride

Durham Miners' Gala 2018

Obituary: Ged Travers 1957-2018


Environment

Plastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleYork health workers say no to privatisation

triangleMarch to save threatened Liverpool Women's Hospital

triangleSocialists and campaigners protest Leicester NHS cuts

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

Health:

trianglePOA walkout over government failure to make prisons safe

triangleThem & Us

triangleLeicester lobby calls for consultation on NHS closure plans

triangleNHS: Mass fightback is needed

Tories:

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

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triangleTory and Blairite racist policy is behind Windrush fatality

Privatisation:

triangleReading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

triangleSchool students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

Government:

triangleCorbyn must lead in fight against the Blairites

Ambulance:

triangleWelsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

Mental health:

triangleSelf-harm soars among young: fight the mental health crisis

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