Earlier this week, Jean, a nurse in the NHS, wrote “The NHS is one of Labour’s biggest achievements, but it seems the old adage is true – you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS. That is why I am campaigning against the Health Bill as a health professional, a grandmother and as patient myself.”
This weekend, Labour activists across the country will unite with health professionals, union members, patients and members of the public to fight for the very survival of our NHS.
Just next week, Members of Parliament will have the chance to debate and vote on Cameron’s Health and Social Care Bill.
This Bill, more than three times the length of the the legislation that set the NHS up in the first place, wastes millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on top-down overhaul of the NHS that risks reorganising it out of existence.
We’ve heard a great deal about the government’s much-vaunted ‘pause’ and ‘listening’ exercise, but the reality is that all this has amounted to is window-dressing – enough superficial change to buy off Clegg and most Liberal Democrats, whilst fixing none of the fatal flaws in the Bill.
If Cameron gets his way and this Bill becomes law, the future of our NHS could be bleak – with worse patient care, with services cut, hospitals closing and longer waiting times for treatment, more privatisation, and more companies making money from all parts of our health service, and more red tape, making it harder for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to do their jobs
MPs who vote for the Health Bill will be voting for the end of the NHS as we know it. We have to hold Coalition MPs to account for their votes – and their hypocrisy. Too many Lib Dem and Tory MPs ran for election promising the NHS is safe in their hands, or pledging to protect their local hospital – but are now voting for what amounts to the destruction of the National Health Service.
That’s why we’re campaigning across the country this weekend to make sure the public know exactly what this government are doing to the NHS. And to make sure that Lib Dem and Tory MPs know that we will expose their double-speak.
On Saturday and Sunday (the Big NHS Weekend), over 80 campaign events will be taking place across the length and breadth of the country. From St Ives to Redcar, Eastbourne to Bury, activists from the Party, the unions and the public will unite to fight for the NHS that we love. And Labour’s health spokesman John Healey will launch the Reading campaign.
So often, we in the Labour movement say that the NHS is our proudest achievement. Right now, the universal health service that we love so much is at huge risk, and we have to be at the very heart of the fight to save it.