The NHS is suffering with huge cuts and facing a shortfall of £2.5 billion in funding over the next year alone. Kallash Chand, the deputy chair of the British Medical Association has stated that “the NHS is on the brink of extinction. The time has come to show that the NHS is not for sale.”
Harrogate Socialists held a stall in the town centre yesterday calling for the repeal of the Health & Social Care Act and an end to health privatisation.
We distributed leaflets and organised a petition containing the following demands:
Kick big business and the market out of the NHS! End the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and refuse to pay the debt. Bring privatised services back into the public sector.
A living wage for all NHS workers. End the pay freeze!
No cuts, closures or job losses in the NHS.
A comprehensive, high-quality NHS, under democratic control, with care free at the point of use – a socialist NHS.
TUSC – A real alternative to austerity
The fight for the NHS also raises the question of a political alternative to the establishment parties. Even the repeal of the Health & Social Care Act, as promised by Labour, will not halt the privatisation. This requires the scrapping of PFI, Foundation Hospitals and all other forms of privatisation which expanded within the NHS under the last Labour government. A student nurse who supported our stall stated that she did not trust any party with the NHS and did not even believe that Labour would repeal the Health & Social Care Act if they were elected.
The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is aiming to stand in 1000 local council wards and 100 parliamentary constituencies in 2015. TUSC is campaigning against health privatisation and for an NHS under democratic control, with all care free at the point of use.
To find out more about TUSC, visit their website at: http://www.tusc.org.uk
To get involved in TUSC in Harrogate, contact us at: harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com
Support the NHS strikes!
NHS workers have endured a pay freeze since 2011, with the value of their pay falling around 10-14% as a result. Health unions are calling members out on a second round of industrial action, beginning with a four hour strike from 7.00-11.00 am on Monday 24th November. Harrogate Socialists will be supporting the picket line at Harrogate District Hospital and we would encourage all who can make it to join us and back the strikes.
For further details on the NHS strikes, see the following article from The Socialist, the weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party: