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Harrogate Socialists campaigned on the NHS in the town centre today, calling for an end to privatisation and the abolition of the Health and Social Care Act.

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Even after all the cuts and privatisation that the NHS has suffered, it still remains one of the best healthcare systems in the world. However, the service is under increasing strain and the crisis in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments is deepening.

  • The figures for A&E waiting times are the worst since records began
  • The number of trolley waits (patients waiting over four hours for a bed after being admitted from A&E) has more than trebled compared to this time last year
  • 16 hospitals have been forced to declare a “major incident”, where a hospital admits to being unable to cope with the workload it faces and needs extra staff

This NHS crisis is the responsibility of successive governments, both Tory and Labour.

  • The NHS ‘internal market’, although started by the Tories, was expanded by Labour’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals. There are now 149 PFI hospitals in Britain, valued at £12.27 billion. However, the NHS is paying £70.5 billion due to PFI costs and services are being bled dry as a consequence
  • Tory/Lib-Dem cuts and ‘reorganisation’ of the NHS has made it even harder for people to get a GP appointment when they need one. In the last year nearly one million people attended A&E after being unable to see a local GP
  • Cuts to local government services by councils led by all three main political parties and the Greens, has resulted in a shortage of social care provision for the elderly who are now more likely to occupy hospital beds in consequence

Keep our NHS public – Vote TUSC!

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The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are standing anti-austerity candidates in the forthcoming elections in May. TUSC candidates are standing on the following programme:

  • End the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and refuse to pay the debt. Bring privatised services, including in social care, back into the public sector
  • Reverse council cuts to social care to ease the A&E crisis
  • Nationalise the pharmaceutical industries under democratic control and integrate them into the NHS
  • A living wage for all NHS workers. No attacks on NHS workers’ pensions or conditions
  • For a high-quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control

For further details about TUSC and our policies see: http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy

Paul Viney is standing as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for the High Harrogate ward. For further information about Paul’s campaign in High Harrogate, please contact harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com

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