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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 August 2016

20bn hospitals funding gap

No NHS cuts or closures

2,000 demonstrate against Huddersfield's A&E closure, photo Iain Dalton

2,000 demonstrate against Huddersfield's A&E closure, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Mike Forster, Chair, Hands Off HRI (personal capacity) and Aaron Bailey, Huddersfield Socialist Party

The NHS is about to undergo further major cuts and closures, through the government's misnamed 'Sustainability and Transformation Plan'. NHS England alone could face a 20 billion funding gap.

Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive, pledged in April 2014 to maintain local hospitals. He feared a vengeful public coming out to fight for their NHS.

Yet that is exactly what will happen now as a result of the 44 regional Sustainability and Transformation Plans. Changes in London, Leicestershire and the West Midlands - including entire hospitals being downgraded or closed - could result in nationwide protests.

Disbelief

NHS bosses say the plans are necessary for the sake of better care, modernisation and financial balance. But an angry, disbelieving public will fight tooth and nail against the loss of vital local services.

Here in Yorkshire, workers and the community continue to resist the proposed Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) A&E closure through the 'Hands Off HRI' campaign.

On 4 September we will march, followed by an afternoon of bands, stalls, entertainment and speakers. Almost 20,000 has been raised by local people to launch a legal challenge against the closure, backed by several large demonstrations. Two coaches have so far been booked for a visit to the Department of Health and Downing Street on 10 October.

This fight of ours has been fought and won in other parts of the country, such as Lewisham in south London. More areas are starting to mobilise to defend their own services. We are starting to link up with campaigns from all over the country, some of which are joining us in London in October.

The time is now right to unite all these struggles into a huge national campaign to defend the NHS.

The government can be defeated on this issue, but it's urgent that the trade unions take up the struggle now! The unions must build for coordinated, escalating strikes, and name the day for a national demonstration to save the NHS.


We demand:


Hands Off HRI march and 'Sunday Funday'

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In The Socialist 31 August 2016:


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Related links:

Huddersfield:

triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

triangleLaunch of Huddersfield Women's Lives Matter

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: '12 years to save the world' - A socialist answer to climate change

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: The rise of the populist right in Latin America

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: Marxist feminism

Closures:

triangleFight the closures save every job!

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

triangleMerseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures

Cuts:

triangleSouth Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

triangleTory meltdown - Organise to finish them off

triangleDozens of protests say Boris must go - Socialist Party policies heard on TV

NHS:

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

triangleBarry Hospital workers fight to save ward from closure

Hospitals:

triangleStrike action wins privatisation reprieve at Bradford hospitals

Socialist Party:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Socialist change to end climate change

Yorkshire:

triangleSouth Yorkshire defeats fire cuts

Demonstration:

triangleMarches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?

PFI:

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

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