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From: The Socialist issue 985, 7 March 2018: UCU strike: bosses on the run

Search site for keywords: NHS - Profit - Health - Workers - Pharmaceutical - PFI - Nurses - Big business

NHS: public health - not private profit

Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo by Mary Finch

Marching to save the NHS, 3.2.18, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Alison Hill

The Tories make dangerous claims like 'we're all living longer' and 'people are demanding more treatment'. Of course people want the most up-to-date and effective treatment, it's 2018. And why should the fact that some people are living longer be a problem?

It's not our fault the NHS is under pressure. It's not the fault of the doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters and the other thousands of dedicated workers who deliver such an important part of a decent society. We have to point to those who leach off the NHS, and their political representatives.

The pharmaceutical companies, the building companies, the suppliers of the equipment. Why should these people be able to make huge profits from our NHS?

You can buy three boxes of paracetamol in a pound shop... for 1. But big pharma charges the NHS up to 20 times the price in Asda, according to 2014 analysis by the Telegraph.

And why is everything else supplied by private companies? Surely it would be more sensible to use the expertise of those workers to build and supply all that on an organised, nationalised basis? That would save our hard-earned billions going straight into the pockets of rich shareholders and the other fat cats.

Just down the road from me is a beautiful new hospital, the Royal London, built on the site of one of the oldest hospitals in Britain, where much pioneering work has been done over the decades.

But now the 'pioneering' work is done by the giant building companies who have used the 'private finance initiative' (PFI) to line their pockets and saddle the NHS with crippling debt.

It's time to put a stop to these companies bleeding the NHS dry. The Socialist Party campaigns not just to defend the NHS, but to rebuild it without the vultures of big business flying around.

  • No to privatisation and PFI.
  • Renationalise all privatised health services, including social care. Nationalise the big pharmaceutical and other big health companies, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need.
  • Fully fund all services and run them under accountable, democratic committees that include representatives of service workers and users
  • For a massive programme of recruitment and training to staff the NHS properly with workers on good wages and conditions
  • For a socialist NHS to provide for everyone's health needs - free at the point of use and under democratic control

Build the fightback!

  • For an urgent meeting of the Trade Union Congress, trade unions and Labour Party to set a date for the next national Saturday demonstration, bringing together the issues of the NHS crisis, austerity and pay - bring forward the march planned for 12 May
  • Coordinate strike ballots and action over pay across different unions
  • Get the Tories out! For a programme of mass action to force a general election






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