Up to 100,000 NHS workers are facing the sack for failing to be vaccinated against covid-19 by the April deadline.
We are being told that it is necessary for frontline NHS staff to take the vaccine to protect the health of their patients, this argument raises within it a few contradictions:
- The vaccine does not necessarily stop every worker from contracting or transmitting the virus
- The government are happy for the staff to work until April unvaccinated
- Staff with medical exemptions, and staff and trainees under the age of 18 will still be able to work unvaccinated
- Patients of the NHS are not required to be vaccinated in order to receive treatment
One wonders how the treatment of unvaccinated staff can therefore have anything to do with the health of patients?
Like the trend of fire and rehire across industry, the vaccine mandate will allow the state to sack thousands of workers who are in secure long term employment, with pensions and paid leave and hire them back at a later date on precarious contracts with no benefits when the full effect of the mandate is borne out in bottleknecks for health care and treatment.
What we are witnessing is a seemingly unstoppable trend of privatisation of the NHS. With hospital closures, reductions in beds, the push to online and phone appointments and potentially a massive reduction in experienced staff. The government can then claim that the upcoming collapse of the NHS shows that ‘public healthcare doesn’t work’ and therefore it is necessary to fully privatise the service to provide efficient and quality healthcare to the public. The government creates the crisis and then sells privatisation as the solution.
This is what happens when the government serves the interests of big business over that of the working people, which is what happens with a capitalist system.
The only real way to ‘protect our NHS’ is with socialism, a system that is run by, and for the benefit of, the working class.