Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1048/29302
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2019
Charging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust
Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo Mary Finch (Click to enlarge)
The destructive privatisation of the NHS in Warrington and Halton continues at pace. The trust recently announced that 71 elective treatments, including surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and varicose veins, would no longer be available free to patients at the trust's two hospitals.
Public outcry forced an immediate backtrack on the move. But to add insult to injury, the trust has also announced that urgent care services at Halton will be provided by a "preferred private bidder" rather than by the NHS.
12 months ago, a coalition of Socialist Party members, Momentum groups and other local people were accused by local councillors of "scare-mongering" when they protested about plans to privatise the hospitals. They have now been proven right.
Councillors arriving at a meeting of Halton Council's health board were met by well attended and vociferous protest, with one Labour councillor being presented with an application form for the Tory party!
These changes to health care provision will cause immense harm and distress in these working-class communities, where people are already struggling to get by due to austerity, wage stagnation and rising rents.
Socialist Party members in the area stand ready to fight to save the NHS from privatisation and keep it free for all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay.
Ste Armstrong, Warrington and St Helens Socialist Party
Warrington and Halton NHS Trust had previously been caught attempting to charge for standard operations. 45 procedures had been made available on the trust website with prices ranging from £1,624 for a cataract operation to over £18,000 for knee and hip replacements.
The trust was forced to withdraw the list when faced with an outcry and admits that not a single 'customer' had signed up to pay for a procedure since the scheme was launched last year.
But this fiasco shows that trusts are itching to start charging for services that should be available on the NHS when patients need them.
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In The Socialist 26 June 2019:
How can we build workers' action to support the climate strikes?
Climate change protests reach important stage
Socialist Party news and analysis
No to Boris, no to Hunt: general election now
Universal Credit forces women into prostitution
Charging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust
Union action can tackle 58% working poverty rate
Unsafe, unaffordable housing scandal
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Ratcheting up of Iran-US tensions
Sudan solidarity protests
Workplace news and analysis
Coordinate the fightback! Come to the 2019 NSSN conference
Unions and campaigners discuss fight to end education crisis
Striking workers defy the race to the bottom at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports
Bridgend NSSN meeting determined to fight for Ford workers
Unison conference: Socialist Party members call for anti-cuts fight and build left challenge
Salisbury South Western Rail strikers determined
Midlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation
Notts college contract dispute
Colloids workers strike to support sacked rep
Harrogate academy workers strike against cuts
35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Angry Barking fire victims demand action from landlords and authorities
Hull trade union festival a great success
Stop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts
Opinion: capitalism's Fukushima showed same recklessness as Stalinism's Chernobyl
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