Cuts and privatisation in the NHS are weakening the health system. In strong protest against measures taken by the government, a march will take place on the 4th of March in London.
Juanjo Andrés Cuervo
Founded in 1948 by Aneurin Bevan, the NHS was put in place to provide a health service which could be accessed by everyone and was to be financed by taxes.
For the first time, different health care professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists were brought together under this organisation which has been around for nearly 70 years.
But at the moment, this iconic symbol which helped rebuild the country after the Second World War is being ruined because of the many cuts the Conservative government is bringing in.
All of this is having an impact on hospitals, GPs, mental healthcare, ambulances and other public services.
Now private businesses are making more profits at the expense of the NHS whose workers have seen their salaries fall by 14% since 2010. In addition, the Sustainability and Transformation Plan which the government introduced at the end of 2015 will see many hospitals closing across the country.
For instance, by the end of this process it is estimated that there will be a reduction of between 40 and 70 of the 140 hospitals which provided emergency care in 2013 in England.
One of the new steps will see technology brought in to replace ‘human contact’ in hospitals and at the same time patients will be brought to community health centres.
But the dilemma is that the funding for these places is also being cut.
Moreover, under the new scheme patients will use a method for paying for these services themselves by way of coupons and personal health budgets.
Consequently, the number of employees in medical centres will fall.
In addition, the managers of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan will insist that in order to maintain the NHS people will have to pay extra for medical consultations; and waiting times will be longer.
Though the plan was introduced in 2015, it was planned two years before being published. The Tories decided to delay its launch due to fears that they might lose votes :it was ‘politically sensitive’ and the elections were looming on the horizon.
Beforehand, the Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt, had asserted that the project would be carried out over ‘a ten year programme.’
This has all caused discontent among the British people and has been described as ‘a humanitarian crisis’ by the British Red Cross.
For this reason, the ‘It’s Our NHS’ march, organised by ‘Health Campaigns Together’ and ‘The People’s Assembly’ will bring together various groups in the capital and various activists in the region with the aim of expressing their dissatisfaction with the government concerning the cuts suffered by the NHS in recent years. Together they will march on Parliament to protest and try to avert the end of the NHS, a sacred part of the UK.
Date and time: the 4th of March, 12.00pm; Address : Tavistock Square, London WC1.
For more information visit http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com
(Translated by Nigel Conibear – DipTrans IoLET MCIL – firstname.lastname@example.org)