In June 2019, the NHS is in significant danger. In 2015 we started the fight to protect the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. This struggle is and will be inseparable from the overall campaign to defend and improve the NHS locally and nationally.
Plans and events have come together to present a major opportunity for the privatisers. These very well paid people have been working assiduously, and with determination, to package the NHS into an organisation that works within the for-profit US and multinational models, used by free trade international and especially US health care and insurance corporations.
The process has been underway for many years and is now almost complete. This is more than the outsourcing we have seen previously but something comprehensive. It is at a regional level, with accountable care organisations, merging of trusts, population budgets with rationed care, and the deep involvement already of the big US and multinational corporations. This has tied the NHS up in gift wrapping for privatisation on a whole new scale.
There are real crises in the NHS in the number of beds, of staff and of access to the best medications. All of these lie on the shoulders of those administering the NHS at the national level. It is widely reported that making the NHS unsatisfactory is a precursor to a major change.
Now we have a political crisis over Brexit, and demands for free trade deals to replace the EU, and the NHS openly discussed as being essential to a free trade deal with the US.
The US president, no less, says the NHS must be on the table in any free trade deal, and he is given a state welcome. A political party whose owner is committed to an insurance-based health care system has just won an election in the UK, albeit just the European one. Jeremy Hunt, pioneer privatiser, and Liam Fox free traders par excellence are bidding for the Conservative leadership. The roar of support from the crowd when Jeremy Corbyn spoke out in defence of the NHS at the anti-Trump demonstration shows something of the huge potential support the NHS has but that support must be active, very widespread, loud and insistent.
The warning sirens must sound across the land, voice by voice.
This morning Trump rowed back a bit on the “everything is on the table” position but that is not worth the air he used to utter it. The process is underway.
What you do and say on this issue will matter. Speak to your workmates and family, friends and colleagues, write to your MP, write to your councillor, write to your union nationally and locally, join a union if you have not already., raise it in any political party you are in, join an NHS defence campaign, ours, or another nearer you.
Only with your efforts will our NHS free at the point of need, publicly provided be saved. That NHS saves mothers lives and babies lives.
We will be raising with other campaigns what the next steps will be locally and nationally but we need you with us.
For all our mothers, daughters, friends and lovers, and for each and every baby, save the NHS.