Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/489/2460
The Socialist 31 May 2007 |
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THE NHS underspent by a massive £500 million in the last financial year as a result of New Labour's health cuts policies. Provisional results from strategic health authorities suggest there are now surpluses in most regions of the country, although many Trusts are still in deficit.
Workers' wages and our health paid for these surpluses. NHS workers were paid less - many nurses were offered a miserly 1%. 22,300 jobs were lost, including 1,446 compulsory redundancies. Wards were cut. Hospitals were ordered not to carry out operations in the final months of the financial year.
As the health service 'overspent' in 2005-6, health Trusts were under pressure from health minister Hewitt to make underspending authorities spend even less to compensate for 'overspenders'.
The NHS is still in crisis. Health workers and campaigners should now mobilise for the NHS's 59th anniversary on 5 July, when there will be a protest in Parliament Square and for the 13 October union-organised national demonstration in defence of the NHS.