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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2019

Halton campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

Nurses marching for the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Ste Armstrong, Warrington, St Helens and Halton Socialist Party

Working-class people in Halton are celebrating after NHS bosses were forced to abandon plans to hand the local urgent care contract to a private company. This followed a rapid and determined response by campaigners including local Socialist Party members.

The original plans were to include charging for elective operations like hip replacements and breast reductions (see - 'Charging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust').

What this amounts to is people 'choosing' to live in pain because they cannot afford operations which should be provided free.

This was quickly dropped, but shortly after it was announced that a "preferred bidder" for the urgent care had been found.

A coalition of Socialist Party members and other left-wing groups organised a rally outside Warrington and Halton Hospitals as well as other locations across Runcorn and Widnes, uniting the local community in opposition to these plans.

Vigilance

While we should welcome this small victory, we should be wary of the wording of the statement by the trust, which said that these services will continue to be provided by the NHS "in the interim".

The Socialist Party will continue to put pressure on the NHS, local politicians and the Tory government to announce a permanent end to the privatisation of healthcare provision in Halton and throughout the country.

We want a properly funded NHS that ensures treatment free for all, based on need and not on the ability to pay. And we fight for a socialist government which puts the needs of working-class people before profit and the rich.

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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.

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In The Socialist 17 July 2019:


What we think

Stop Boris - general election now


News

Fraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam

Wales: chronic NHS underfunding exposed

Them & Us


Imperial typewriters dispute

The 45th anniversary of the strike


Workplace news

NSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

Health visitors strike for the first time ever

Bradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

Newham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

Council seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils


Moon landing 50 years on

50 years since Apollo 11 - 'One giant leap': how political conflict launched the moon landing


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist change to end climate change

Residents mobilise to stop eviction

Stop the fire service cuts

Durham Miners' Gala

Campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

Leicestershire - No more austerity!

Excellent response to building fund appeal

Socialist Party Fighting Fund


International socialist news and analysis

Greece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

Sudan masses mobilise against state repression

Interview: protests over killing in Israel


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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