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The British Medical Association (BMA) are currently balloting for strike action over Tory plans to increase the hours of junior doctors and cut their pay.

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Millionaire health minister Jeremy Hunt’s “reforms” would see junior doctors’ normal hours extended from Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) to Monday to Saturday (7am to 10pm). With no extra money for unsocial hours, some doctors will see a pay cut of up to 40%.

However, for junior doctors this is not just about pay. The government’s new contracts redefine unsocial hours and remove vital monitoring which ensures that the number of hours worked are safe for patients and doctors. The contracts could lead to unsafe conditions for NHS patients as a result of being treated by exhausted staff.

The government’s attempt to impose a new contract on junior doctors is part of a much wider attack on the NHS and public services. Last year’s deficit in the NHS was £820 million. In the first three months of this financial year the deficit rose to £930 million. For patients and healthcare workers the consequences will be lengthening waiting lists and further privatisation. In the longer term, charges will be put on GP visits and hospital treatment, making private health insurance a necessity (for those who can afford it).

However, the crisis in the NHS is good news for private companies and management consultants! NHS Trust spending on management consultants doubled between 2010 and 2014 to £640 million – enough to pay for three medium-sized hospitals or 20,000 nurses. In 2014-15 private companies won £3.5 billion of new clinical contracts in the NHS – up 500% on the previous year. Profit making firms have taken more than 60% of all NHS contracts since 2010.

Junior doctor contract protest, Leeds – 28th October, 7pm

NHS (10)

There will be a protest by junior doctors outside Leeds Art Gallery on Wednesday 28th October, starting 7pm. All welcome!

Prior to the protest there will be a candleit vigil outside the Brotherton Wing of Leeds General Infirmary (directly opposite Millennium Square) from 6pm to 7pm. This will be followed by a candlelit procession from Leeds General Infirmary to the Art Gallery for the start of the protest.

For further details, see the following links:

http://heyevent.uk/event/fb5blz7s5bsdga/junior-doctor-contract-protest-leeds

https://www.facebook.com/events/1508852242769062/

Support the fire-fighters – stop the cuts!

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Harrogate Socialists campaigned in the town centre yesterday against the planned cuts to the fire service in North Yorkshire. Hundreds of signatures were gained for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) petition.

The petition can still be signed online at the following link:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-unnecessary-and-dangerous-cuts-to-north-yorkshire-fire-service

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Refugee crisis fundraising gig – Harrogate, Friday 30th October

There will be a fundraising gig for the refugee crisis in Harrogate on Friday 30th October. The money is going to the local Red Cross. The venue is the Retro Bar on Commercial Street and the gig is due to start around 8pm. Bands playing are Milk Crimes, Lugubrious Children, FWF and Clean Shirts.

For further details see the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1507358556253186/

Harrogate Socialist Party Meeting, 10th November

Our next branch meeting is Tuesday 10th November, starting 7.45 pm. All welcome!

The venue is: St. Robert’s Club, Robert Street (opposite Waitrose), HG1 1HP

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