Unions, health professionals and patients from across Battersea will this weekend join with Battersea Labour Party and supporters to highlight how the Tory-led government’s Health and Social Care Bill is set to damage our NHS.
With the Bill back before Parliament next week, the campaigning street stall taking place at Wandsworth Town Rail Station on Saturday 3rd September, will warn the public that the NHS remains under threat, despite ‘superficial’ changes announced after the government’s recent ‘listening exercise’. The plans, led by David Cameron’s Tories and backed by LibDem MPs at Parliament, will see more privatisation, and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money wasted on bureaucracy instead of patient care.
Andrew Fearn who has organised the events said: “The NHS is not safe in David Cameron’s hands and nobody should be fooled by the superficial changes announced after the so-called listening exercise. The health service is already being pushed to breaking point and this wasteful reorganisation is simply a recipe for chaos. So we’re calling on Jane Ellison MP to do the right thing and vote against Cameron’s dangerous plans.”
John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary added: “The Tory-led Health Bill is a massive threat to the NHS that we know and love. With the plans about to come back before Parliament, we’re calling on the people of Battersea to join our national campaign to stop David Cameron’s government from destroying our NHS.”
Susan Elliott, local resident said: “People here in Battersea are already starting to see the impact of the government’s plans for the NHS, through the loss of 500 jobs and the cap on maternity admissions at St Georges Hospital in Tooting. Allowing this Bill to become law will make matters far worse.”
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said: “The Tories in government claim that the private sector is more cost effective in providing quality health and social care despite all the evidence that this is not the case. The private sector sunk Southern Cross care homes for 31,000 elderly and vulnerable residents. And as is well known, healthcare in the US, delivered by the private sector, costs double what it costs in the UK with no better outcomes.”
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary said: “Our health service is under siege. If anyone thinks that the NHS is safe in the Coalition’s hands – they better think again. The Health and Social Care Bill is a Trojan horse bringing in private health companies to take over our health service. In Tory-ward, money talks and if patients don’t have the cash they will find themselves waiting at the end of a very long queue.”
Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary said: “We cannot allow the privatisation of the NHS. The coalition promised an NHS safe in their hands. They lied. More than 50,000 jobs will go and waiting times are up. With this bill, profit-grabbing private healthcare companies will have carte blanche to dismantle the NHS street by street. The promise of universal access at the point of need for all, regardless of the ability to pay will be crushed.”