The NHS singers are a now well known and popular voice. A choir of NHS workers came together to write, perform and produce this anthem in support of the struggle to defend the NHS from the onslaught of privatisation, with the attack on pay and conditions of its staff – notably the junior doctors and nursing students – as a key component of privatisation.
Enjoy the video, and pass it on. And don’t forget to read WHY AND HOW our ruling class are planning to dismantle the NHS underneath!
If you love the NHS,
Want your health care at its best,
Then don’t sit quietly,
Stand up and sing with me,
Don’t forget you have a choice,
So shout it out and raise your voice,
Don’t let your junior docs,
Be worked around the clock
Lives that we save
The price that we pay
Long hours turn into days
Yes we get run down
But still we stand proud
So listen when you hear us shout
The NHS needs saving
And they’re not listening
But we’ve got something to say
You can save us
Don’t let them break us
We are your doctors
Let’s keep it that way
The NHS should be yours
Let’s keep it yours
Your lives are what we stand for
So let’s keep it yours
Every doctor loves the job they do
And we only want the best for you
Help us to keep you safe
Don’t take our rights away
You come to us when you’re in pain
But you and I are just the same
If the NHS survives
We can keep saving lives
To care for you,
Is what we do,
So hear us now we need you too
We stand as one
Together we’re strong
They’ll listen when they hear our song
Copyright National Health Singers
PRINT OFF THE WORDS FROM HERE IF YOU LIKE
SAVE OUR NHS!
Britain’s National Health Service provides excellent care to all, from the cradle to the grave, free at the point of use, regardless of ability to pay.
This outstanding achievement is lauded and appreciated by workers, but our love for the NHS is not shared by our rulers, because, by denying opportunities for profit-taking, it’s ‘bad for business’.
Engineering a crisis
Following decades of sustained attack by successive governments, cracks in the system are now showing.
The Health and Social Care Act 2011 aimed to finally dismember the NHS by removing the government’s statutory responsibility to provide care, and by compelling small groups of fund-holding GPs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) to seek bids from private companies.
Nationally-planned provision has been jettisoned. CCGs rely on financial ‘consultants’ to plan service provision – and these firms unashamedly advance the agenda of private health and the insurance industry.
Meanwhile, the NHS is being carved up into isolated business units (foundation trusts) that are compelled to reduce costs or face financial penalties. Yet, despite all the cuts they’ve made, every single one of Britain’s NHS Trusts is now in financial deficit.
Britain’s overall spending on health (8.5 percent of national income) is well behind that of other developed countries. Payouts to pharmaceutical companies, equipment suppliers and PFI loan sharks far outstrip any ‘increases’ in funding.
Less widely trumpeted by politicians are the £30bn ‘Nicholson Challenge’ cuts presently being applied – which are on top of the £20bn cuts already made in NHS budgets since 2010.
Widespread pay restraint and pay freezes threaten to make working in the NHS economically untenable. Bursaries allowing working-class nurses and midwives to train are to be scrapped, and junior doctors are threatened with unworkable hours and a 30 percent pay cut. This has led to the first strike action by British doctors in 40 years.
Despite the negative spin from Prime Minister David Cameron, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the rest of their government, doctors received overwhelming support for this action, taken under the slogans ‘Not Fair, Not Safe’ and ‘Save Our NHS!’
The health secretary’s call for ‘seven-day working’ is widely understood to be a fraud. The NHS is already a 24/7 service. Hunt’s proposal – calling for more work for less pay by the same or fewer staff – is really a cut masquerading as ‘service improvement’.
Privatisation and profiteering
A superficial analysis attributes these policies to the personal malice of one minister or another. Hunt is the current bogeyman, as Andrew Lansley was before him.
But it was Labour health secretary Frank Dobson who burdened the NHS with the millstone of Private Finance Initiative debt that is steadily dragging the NHS down.
By 2017/18 Britain’s annual PFI repayment will reach a staggering £10.1bn, as we are forced to repay up to 12 times the initial sums ‘loaned’.
This usury is quite literally costing lives, and scrapping it could save the NHS, yet none of our ministers will be persuaded to ‘see sense’: servicing capital is their goal, not safeguarding our health.
The need to wring profits from every avenue, including health care, and to drive down labour costs by abolishing social provision, are an overriding necessity of capitalism in crisis. For the British ruling class, this is a matter of survival.
Capitalist v socialist medicine
MP Andrew Bridgen’s denouncing of the NHS as ‘Stalinist’ (ie, people-centred) contains a grain of truth. The NHS was in fact modelled on Soviet medicine, since capitalism has no interest in caring for all workers.
The model of capitalist medicine being enthusiastically pursued by our rulers is the US model: entirely privately-owned, it’s the most expensive and inefficient in the world, costing $6,719 per person per year while leaving 50+ million Americans uninsured and many millions more underinsured.
For most of the capitalist world’s inhabitants, repaying national debt to financiers is the top spending priority, and poverty and sickness are the natural lot of the working poor.
The socialist alternative can be seen today in countries like Cuba, where publicly-owned, universal health care is delivered for just $362 per person per year, and achieves population health statistics that rival and even surpass those of developed countries. The difference? At no point in the Cuban system is there anybody who is driving up costs by making a profit.
The Labour party claims credit for creating the NHS; in fact, it was part of the post-war consensus – a ‘welfare’ concession made by British capitalism due to the relative strength of the working class in 1945, when the Red Army and Soviet socialism had vanquished the most aggressive imperialist states and the soviet system had proved its superiority by providing rising living standards while workers elsewhere were enduring the miseries of the great depression.
With the USSR’s collapse, however, capitalists no longer feel compelled to make concessions to British workers, who seldom now even dream of revolution.
How can we save our NHS?
While applauding the contribution of the various campaigns that have sprung up to defend the NHS, we must admit that these have a tendency to be far too narrow in scope and to allow themselves to be misled by politicians’ promises.
Only by clearly understanding our rulers’ determination to dismantle the NHS and by coordinating our efforts to save it can we hope to succeed.
We must demand:
1. The immediate scrapping of all PFI debt.
2. The scrapping of the ‘internal market’. It is pushing privatisation, not ‘efficiency’.
3. The scrapping of Foundation Trusts, CCGs etc, which act as businesses first and health providers second.
4. The reintroduction of integrated health planning, commissioning and provision on a national and regional level by the NHS.
5. An end to the private provision of health care. It doesn’t ‘add choice’ or ‘increase overall health funding’; it adds cost, and ultimately deprives the poor of health care.
6. An end to pay freezes and ‘restraint’ and to the push towards tearing up national employment contracts and frameworks.
7. The nationalisation of all drug and medical technology companies. It has long been the case that while public debt is social, profitable enterprises are in ‘private’ hands.
The CPGB-ML believes that the welfare of workers can only be safeguarded by a socialist system of economy, controlled and administered by the working people themselves.
Let the capitalists’ ministers try and show us otherwise; let them start by meeting this list of simple demands.
Save our NHS!
Leaflet to download, Print and distribute here: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/download/leaflets/NHS_20160202.pdf