Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/888/22192
The Socialist 10 February 2016 |
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Tories bankrupting NHS
Trade unionists must organise fightback
Marching for the NHS in Bolsover, August 2014, photo Elaine Evans (Click to enlarge)
The National Health Service (NHS) in England is in financial meltdown due to the Tories' relentless drive toward privatisation. According to Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, the NHS's accumulated deficit is likely to balloon to £2.5 billion this year - jeopardising patient care as health trusts cut back on staff.
This deficit is largely as a result of successive governments pursuing rip-off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts.
In Barts, east London, the largest hospitals trust in England, a PFI redevelopment of the Royal London Hospital has left it owing £135 million - up from £93 million since last year. But while private contractors are quids-in, the trust has a shortage of 1,044 nursing posts and is making cuts.
A Barts health worker (speaking under anonymity) told the Socialist: "This debt should be dropped and repudiated - it has absolutely nothing to do with the increasingly overworked staff responsible for providing health services to some of the poorest communities in the country.
"What's urgently needed is a mass national demonstration called by the TUC and built seriously by the health unions as part of coordinated, generalised, strike action to defend the junior doctors and student nurse bursaries and to kick out big business from our NHS.
"Such a programme of action, supported by my union branch, will be hugely popular with both health workers and a working class angered by the increasing brutality of these cuts."