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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 April 2006

S.O.S NHS!

Stop the cuts and jobs slaughter

PATRICIA HEWITT, Blair's health secretary, claims the National Health Service is having its "best year ever." Millions of people think she's talking total rubbish! Labour's attacks on the NHS are making hospital trusts all over the country threaten to sack workers, cut beds and close hospitals or wards.
Andy Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent Socialist Party

These attacks are part of the government's plan to prepare the NHS for privatisation. Blair's rich friends in big business are circling like vultures waiting to be given the most profitable parts.

But Blair and Pat 'Butcher' Hewitt underestimate the deep-seated support for the NHS among ordinary people. They think we're stupid. They tell us they have given billions to the NHS but much of this money is going to private treatment centres, drug companies and construction companies' swollen bank accounts.

The new hospital being built in Stoke-on-Trent will cost 410 million to build. But the NHS will pay a staggering 1.5 billion over 30 years to pay for it!

On 29 April in Stoke, thousands will support the march against the University Hospital of North Staffs (UHNS) plans to sack 1,200 NHS staff and destroy 160 beds. The march and rally has been organised by the North Staffs NHS - SOS campaign set up only weeks ago with a leading role played by Socialist Party members including Socialist councillors Dave and Paul Sutton.

UHNS boss, Antony Sumara, says these cuts won't affect patient care. But already staff who leave are not being replaced which is placing a massive strain on the other staff.

This march will be an important step in mobilising opposition to the government's plans but by itself it is unlikely to be enough. NHS workers and working people across Britain should demand that the union organise a national demonstration as soon as possible to link up all the NHS defence campaigns around the country.

Determined action can defeat the government's plans. Just the threat of strike action forced the government to back down over plans to increase millions of public-sector workers' retirement age from 60 to 65.

UNISON and other health unions should organise immediately and prepare for strike action. NHS workers should only work their contractual hours to show how hospitals are being run on the goodwill of an overstretched staff.

March to defend the NHS

Saturday 29 April - from 11 am

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In The Socialist 27 April 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

S.O.S NHS!

Hewitt 'isolated from real world'


Socialist Party election campaign

Socialist ideas strike a chord


Education feature

Good quality schools for all, not just the few


1926 General Strike

Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe


Environment: Nuclear power

Is Blair leading Britain to nuclear catastrophe?


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Building the campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Defend jobs and services

Public services not private profit

Taking the profits and running

Rail unions unite to defend pensions


International socialist news and analysis

Fears of revolution force concessions in Nepal

War looms after Colombo bombing in Sri Lanka

No more tears sister

Anti-cuts alternative confirmed in Berlin city elections

High School students threatened with suspension for antiwar activity


 

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