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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2018

New winter crisis looms

Tories out now to save our NHS

Save Our NHS Leicestershire on a national NHS demonstration in London 30 June 2018, photo Mike Barker, photo Mike Barker

Save Our NHS Leicestershire on a national NHS demonstration in London 30 June 2018, photo Mike Barker, photo Mike Barker   (Click to enlarge)

Connor Rosoman, Brighton Socialist Party

The NHS is preparing for another winter crisis. According to a recent report by NHS Providers, services are facing a winter even tougher than last year, as hospitals struggle under the effects of years of austerity.

King George Hospital in Ilford has already announced the closure of its chemotherapy ward due to a lack of qualified nursing staff.

Under-staffing has become a serious issue, with 42,000 nursing vacancies in England alone. The Tories plan to couple shortages with more cuts to training for new staff.

Meanwhile, drugs manufacturers are charging vastly inflated prices for basic medications. Private companies steal millions of pounds from the NHS through extortionate mark-ups.

Everyday products like mouthwash are being sold for hundreds of times their original price.

The recent Tory budget has promised a meagre cash boost for NHS services.

But chronic issues such as understaffing, rip-off Private Finance Initiative contracts, and the rising costs faced by the NHS, mean that this 'increase' is not even enough to maintain services at their current level.

In reality, this means more cuts. But recent local campaigns have shown that if we fight, we can win.

Last year, a determined community mobilisation saved Glenfield Children's Heart Centre. Thousands signed petitions and attended demonstrations to keep the centre open.

Socialist Party members played a leading role and helped to link up the community campaign with the trade union movement. For example, Unite the Union general secretary, Len McCluskey, backed the campaign.

This victory was followed by successful campaigns to save Chatsworth rehabilitation ward and against privatisation in East Yorkshire.

In both cases, a united struggle of health workers, their unions and the local community was central to scoring a victory.

Now we need to build a movement on a national scale. Health unions should take the lead by initiating mass action.

We can win a fully funded NHS - publicly owned and democratically controlled.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 November 2018:


What we think

A mass, trade union-led, socialist anti-racist campaign can defeat the far right


Socialism 2018

Socialism 2018: Huge confidence in the working class to change society


International socialist news and analysis

US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Major private care operator puts thousands of vulnerable people at risk

Grenfell - no more cover-ups!

Tories out now to save our NHS


Socialist history

1918: revolution ends World War One - and shakes the capitalist world


Workplace news and analysis

TGI Fridays strike wins control of tips

British Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

PCS union members: why we're backing Chris

Victory for democracy at CWU 'redesign' conference

National Education Union: vote for action on funding


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey's 'Corbyn council' must refuse to make cuts!

NHS Tayside facing massive job cuts

Mansfield: keep our park open!

Newham by-election: We need anti-austerity councillors

Leeds meeting backs striking rail guards

Welsh Socialist Students campaign and meet in Swansea


Opinion

Engaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

Theatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

The Socialist inbox


 

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