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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 December 2018

Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

Save our NHS demo 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch

Save our NHS demo 4.3.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Jackie Grunsell, GP and Lancashire Socialist Party member

20.5 billion extra funding isn't enough to make improvements to NHS services, is the conclusion of Simon Stevens, head of NHS England. A row has broken out between him and the government.

The Tories want him to promise significant improvements to waiting times, cancer care, mental health services, ill-health prevention measures - and expect him to deliver a 'seven-day NHS'.

All this for what will amount to a miserly 3.4% increase in funding annually over the next five years.

Theresa May bestowed this '70th birthday present' on the NHS only as a result of growing public anger.

Campaigns have grown against the running down of health services, chronic underfunding, staff shortages and closures.

This latest attempt to appease the public won't wash. Even with this 'increase' - a real-terms freeze compared to some inflation measures, and following years of cuts - the UK will spend less on healthcare than leading EU countries.

There are over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, according to health service watchdog NHS Improvement. Yet there is no extra money for training and education.

Bosses have cut 6,000 NHS beds since 2014-15, the doctors' union BMA has found. Hospitals are now overwhelmed by demand all year round - not just over winter.

Today the UK has one of the lowest numbers of beds per patient in the OECD, representing most major capitalist economies.

And the 'extra' money contains no increase for social care or public health, areas where cuts have devastated services and put vulnerable patients more at risk.

Even according to Simon Stevens' own conservative estimates, at least 80 billion - four times what's on offer - would be needed just to make the changes the Tories demand.

Yet despite the underfunding, year on year a greater proportion of NHS funding is going to private providers of care.

They take the money while cherry-picking the less costly to treat, the less complex patients - further increasing pressure on NHS services.

There has to be a huge investment in the NHS - but no more money should be diverted into the hands of private profiteers.

Health workers and the public need direct involvement in democratically deciding how a massive increase in NHS money should be spent, to genuinely improve the service to meet the needs of all.

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In The Socialist 12 December 2018:


What we think

Tory chaos reaches fever pitch


News

National Union of Students faces bankruptcy

Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

Cuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

Corbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership

Worldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years

Interserve debts

Universal Credit Christmas misery


Workplace news

Tommy Robinson's rich backers

Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard

Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate

Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws

Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay

Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire

Workplace news in brief


France

France in revolt


John Maclean

John Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services

'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

Socialist Students LJMU victory

Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!

Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!


TUSC

New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case


Obituary

Obituary - Beth Roper (1990-2018) - comrade, friend and fighter


Christmas Quiz

The Socialist quiz of 2018


 

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