(These are some of the notes used speaking for Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital at rallies for the NHS on February 2/3rd 2018.)
Keeping Health National
The NHS is at a tipping point. We demand that the NHS be funded properly and be fixed, that the running sores of privatisation be tackled. Lack of adequate funding and privatisation have caused real harm, and other plans are afoot that are doing grievous damage.
It is not the market that has kept the NHS afloat, stricken though it is, but the work, often unpaid and always underpaid, of the NHS workforce, of doctors and Nurses, midwives, the related professions, the porters, health care assistants, cleaners, and oft maligned admin staff. These rallies are to give you, NHS workers support as well as to loudly protest.
We want more funds for the NHS, we should match what other advanced countries spend on health.
We want our health service to be National, not regional, not local, but National.
To be for all of us, equally; babies, mothers, elders, employed, unemployed retired, carers, manual workers and office and shop workers, everyone regardless of class wealth or creed
We want it to be national so we can gain those huge economies of scale that have made the NHS the most cost effective health care system in the world in international comparison tables.
Maternity care needs it to be national, to develop good maternity provision and to make the fight for good maternity care more powerful. We cannot leave a few women in each area fighting for good maternity care, it need as national service and a national campaign. Good care for babies in pregnancy, at the birth and in the months after birth, is crucial to the health and well-being of the community.
We want the NHS to be national so we can, by sharing our risks across a whole population of nearly 66 million, afford for everyone to have the best available treatment. We want it to be national so it can reflect our great national wealth.
We are the sixth richest country on the planet; we are the financial hub of the western world,
We want the NHS national, paid for from general taxation, paid for as a public good. A healthy population free of the fear of not being able to afford health care makes for a happier, heathier more productive nation
We want it national, so the workings of the NHS should be transparent and answerable to parliament for public scrutiny.
We want it national as some protection against the global economics, the economics of inequality.
“Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, and nothing went to the bottom 50%.
Dangerous, poorly paid work for the many is supporting extreme wealth for the few. Women are in the worst work, and almost all the super-rich are men. Governments must create a more equal society by prioritizing ordinary workers and small-scale food producers instead of the rich and powerful.” Oxfam
We want the NHS to be national so it is not private, nor for profit, nor rationed and not offering restricted care based on economics outcomes rather than patient care, as we find in an accountable care system. By being national, we can run the best system in the world without spending anything like as much as the Unites states does on health care.
We want it national so it is too big for corporations to swallow whole and privatise, as they have privatised the railways, water, the post office, British Telecom and electricity and gas. We want it national to give it some protection from free trade agreements.
We want it to be national so we can share research, professional development and expertise without cost barriers to that sharing.
We want it to be national, not broken up and privatised. The NHS is a beacon of humanity, of social solidarity and a contributor to the nation’s good mental health
But our National Health Service is being run by the Conservative government to its own bizarre ideological policies, policies that prefer to be spoken about only behind closed doors or behind blinding propaganda. They will never openly say they want privatisation but Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2012 wrote a book about it and Simon Stevens head of the NHS, in his previous role coordinated a major paper on privatising health care for DAVOS
“Simon Stevens himself, who, at that time was head of UnitedHealth’s Global Division, acted as Project Steward of the Steering Board for the first World Economic Forum report, working with chief executives of leading healthcare companies, including Apax Partners, Novartis, Merck, Medtronic and Kaiser Permanente, as well as the Directors of Health at the World Bank, the WHO, and the European Commission.” Socialist Health Association
Too few beds
The NHS is underfunded, and short, by policy, of beds. So, we see the horrors of patients for hours on trolleys and even on the floor. Over 30 years the number of hospital beds has halved, as the population has increased
“Germany manages to provide 8.1 hospital beds for every thousand of its citizens, compared to 2.6 in the UK. It employs 4.1 doctors per thousand people compared to 2.8 in the UK; People with private insurance don’t jump the queues, because there aren’t any”
The winter crisis was entirely predictable. We are short of doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical professions, and this is from appalling government planning. This rundown is policy. This is not from stupidity, it is deliberate. Who cancels bursaries during a shortage of nurses?
We must have a fully funded NHS, paid for by general taxation. It is a matter of life and death.
We do not want the National Health Service broken up into 44 footprints, STPs and Accountable care systems and organisations, or ACOs by any other name. We want a national health service. No corporation could run the NHS as a whole so it is being broken into bite sizes pieces covering a geographical area, at a size that the private sector is used to running in the USA.
In our area, Merseyside and Cheshire, we are expected to make nearly a billion pounds worth of cuts, and the NHS bureaucrats are working towards an ACS, whatever people might tell you and it lacks any basis in law or democratic scrutiny.
Keep Our NHS Public highlight the dangers
“They incentivise rationing of services and – even more concerning – denial of care and so are fundamentally at odds with social solidarity and the values of equity and universalism that underpin the NHS;”
The plans currently being implemented expect, “Acute providers to (make) downward adjustments to budget projections to reflect national efficiency expectations such as the requirement for acute providers to reduce activity growth” They say they will reduce spend in acute settings. “If the budget does not align with affordability most appropriate response amending service scope”
This means that the STP plans increasing cuts not increased spending, over a long period.
So we campaign for the NHS to be a fully funded national health service.
We have to change this government to make it so
We need every person who can give some time to the campaign to do so. The only way we can win this is by a huge campaign.
For our mothers sisters daughters friends and lovers and for the babies
For the men too, young and old, we need the NHS.
with thanks to Christine Jones, Romona McCartney, Alan Gibbons and Steve Carne for images