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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2019

NHS in critical condition

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch

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

Clare Wilkins, Nottingham Socialist Party

"It was never-ending, there were more and more patients being wheeled in." This was the comment of a man whose 88 year-old mother-in-law spent six-and-a-half hours waiting to be seen at the A&E Unit at Queens Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham.

That day QMC declared a 'critical incident', which meant its ability to deliver critical services was threatened.

This is one level up from OPEL 4 ('black alert') which had been reported for several days previously - defined as an inability to deliver comprehensive care, placing patient safety at risk.

The 88 year-old woman, a retired NHS worker said, "this isn't a winter crisis, it's a Tory crisis.'

The BBC discovered that in 2018 two NHS trusts spent more than 120 days at OPEL 4.

A&E is the point at which the crisis in the NHS shows most starkly. It is a symptom of all cuts to the NHS and social care.

The crisis is a result of closures and underfunding that has worsened since 2010. One in six A&E and maternity units have been closed or downgraded or are earmarked for it.

The NHS is 100,000 staff short. 94% of NHS bosses say that buildings endanger patient safety. The Private Finance Initiative which was used to build 12.6 billion worth of hospitals, is costing the NHS 80 billion in repayments.

18% of NHS work is already privatised and it is in danger of being destroyed by a US trade deal after Brexit. The Tories refuse to sign an election pledge to say that it will not happen.

Labour, on the other hand, has promised to end all privatisation in the NHS as well as increase funding.

The NHS must be fully funded, fully staffed, public and free at the point of delivery, under the democratic control of NHS staff and users.

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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 13 November 2019:


What we think

Attacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win


News

Strike, protest, vote - Kick the Tories out

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

NHS in critical condition

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle


Workplace news

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Transport for London - Justice for cleaners!


Education

Save education - Kick out the Tories


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

I'm 90 and still a socialist


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Socialism 2019 - what you thought


 

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