The Workers Party of Britain supports the NHS anniversary events that have been organised by NHS campaign groups across the country this weekend (see below for leaflet and details).
The founding principles of the 1948 NHS charter – to promote health and provide universal and high-quality medical care, free at the point of use, from the cradle to the grave – remains the deeply-held desire of the overwhelming majority of the people of Britain, is in the immediate interest of all working people, and in the long-term interest of humanity as a whole.
Yet from the 1980s onward – under Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and Johnson – we have seen a steady and inexorable undermining of the NHS through marketisation and privatisation. Even in the face of Covid-19, all the government can muster are platitudes; rounds of clapping and declarations of love.
Dr Ranjeet Brar of the WPB says;
“The Health and Social Care Act 2012 is now widely perceived for what it really is: the final outright privatisation of the NHS, which makes it compulsory to open up all areas of health provision to private companies. Anyone who attempts to paint this attack on the NHS as a purely Tory or ConDem phenomenon need only look as far as the last Labour government’s record on the NHS to see that Labour is equally complicit.
“NHS funding doubled between 1999 (£49bn) and 2009 (£110bn), but much of the increase went directly into the private coffers of drug companies (£20bn a year), private contractors for cleaning, catering and maintenance contracts (formerly supplied by NHS workers), health technology companies and building contractors.”
Is more funding the solution?
The Workers Party of Britain campaigns for a properly funded National Health Service, but funding alone, when it is channelled into the hands of the privateers, will do nothing to improve the lot of the patients or overstretched NHS workers. That is why we support calls to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and put forward the following demands:
1. Oppose all privatisation of services – ‘core’ or ‘peripheral’ – and campaign for the renationalisation of all privatised aspects of NHS provision, working towards a health service that provides nationally-funded, universal and comprehensive care, free at the point of use, that fulfils the NHS’s original charter.
2. Oppose both the private provision of healthcare, and the internal market in healthcare within the NHS.
3. Scrap all PFI debt.
Events this Saturday
Local Keep Our NHS Public groups will be organising events on Saturday 4 July (unless otherwise stated) to show support for our health service and its amazing staff and to demand it be fully restored as a well-funded, universal public service (see Keep Our NHS Public website for contact info and more details of all events). Please wear a facemask and observe social distancing.
- Ealing, 12.30-1.30pm: Ealing Combined NHS birthday celebration and protest over the cuts and closures at Ealing Hospital.
- Hammersmith & Fulham, 12.00-1.00pm: Socially distanced rally opposite Charing Cross hospital.
- Lambeth, 2.00pm: Corner of Lambeth Palace Road and Westminster Bridge, outside St Thomas’s hospital.
- Lewisham: Socially distanced events with placards and banners outside Lewisham hospital.
- Tower Hamlets, 12.00pm: Rally outside Whitechapel Ideas Store.
- Southwark, 12.00-2.00pm: Vigil on Denmark Hill, outside King’s College and Maudsley hospitals.
- Manchester, 12.00pm: Oxford Road, opposite Manchester Royal Infirmary.
- Prestwich, 12.00pm: Near the walk-in centre, Fairfax Road, Prestwich, M25 1BT.
- Salford, 12.00pm: Salford Royal Infirmary.
- Liverpool, 11.45am: Car cavalcade meeting Beaumont St (near the Kingsley Road/Crown St junction) and progressing to meet static campaigners at the Liverpool Women’s hospital, Royal Liverpool university hospital and Aintree Hospital, finishing with a brief rally from.
SOUTH and SOUTH WEST
- Bristol: 5.00pm on Friday 3 July: Bristol Royal Infirmary.
- Southampton: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be keen to help hold a banner around the city.
- Romsey, 10.30am: Plaza theatre moving to Romsey hospital.
EAST and WEST MIDLANDS
- Coventry, 10.30am: Car cavalcade meeting at West Midlands ambulance hub, Ibstock Road, Coventry CV6 6JR.
- Derbyshire, 11.00am: A motorcade meets at Royal Derby Hospital and ends up in Chesterfield.
- Leamington Spa, 11.00am: Rally outside Leamington Town Hall.
- Nottingham, 4.00pm on Friday 3 July: Bramcote roundabout on the A52 out of Nottingham towards the M1.
- Leeds, 2.00pm: Pop-up events with banners, costumes and music at both main sites of Leeds teaching hospitals Trust.
- Leeds, 11.00am on Sunday 5 July: Motorcade through Leeds suburbs.
- Sunderland, 1.30pm: Motorcade starting at Ashbrooke Street (just off Thornhill Terrace, near to Thornhill School).
- Newcastle, 10.30am: Millennium Bridge moving to Monument and Royal Victoria Infirmary.
- Belfast, 12.00pm: Rally inWriter’s Square.