Red Youth urges everyone to show their support for the striking Junior Doctors and the NHS itself on the 24 hour strike this Wednesday, 10 February from 8am. Map below of official pickets.
Doctors, nurses, medical students, other healthcare professionals, and members of the public took to the streets on Saturday to voice their opposition to the proposed new contracts for junior doctors, the third public demonstration against the changes. The protest started with impassioned speeches, songs, and some comedy from NHS workers and supporters, before a masked march to Downing St for a silent protest.
The latest offensives in the long war against public healthcare in this country, new contracts for junior doctors and replacing student nurse bursaries with loans, have aroused widespead condemnation and outrage from NHS workers and the public alike for being dangerous and detrimental to the service and to patients.
These maneuvres by capitalist ministers are part of an insidious ongoing campaign to ultimately privitise the NHS, claims of ‘improving service’ and getting ‘value for money’ falling short when the evidence is examined. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Foundation Trusts, the Private Finance Initiative, the ‘internal market’, the Health and Social Care Act 2011 are all abject failures at what their stated aims are – the NHS is now heamorrhaging money, staff, and service quality.
This is no accident as these schemes are fully intended to set the NHS up for failure, eventually allowing whoever is in government when NHS is finally fully undermined to swoop in with a radical solution: full privatisation. Already carved up for the taking, our beloved NHS will finally close it’s doors to anyone without deep pockets, expensive insurance, or the ability to get into a mountain of debt.
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.