Derbyshire Labour this week joined Mums who are marching from Jarrow to Parliament to campaign to save the NHS from privatisation and cuts. Labour councillors welcomed The People’s March into Derbyshire and joined a rally in Chesterfield, before the Mums set off to Mansfield.
Derbyshire Labour and the marching Mums from the 999 Call For the NHS campaign want to highlight their concerns at the privatisation of the NHS. The Tories promised at the last general election that there would be “no top-down reorganisation of the NHS” but the Health and Social Care Act voted into law by Tory and Lib Dem MPs has opened up the NHS to privatisation. Under Section 75 of the Government’s reforms private companies must be allowed to bid to run NHS services. As a result 70% of all new NHS contracts in England have gone to the private sector.
Speaking at the rally, Anne Western, Labour Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said:
“We all can tell a story about how the NHS has helped us, our family and our friends. Free at the point of use to help us give birth to our children, care for us when we are desperately in need and prevent some of the very worst diseases.
Without the NHS most of us wouldn’t have been able to afford the health care we or our families have needed. Can you imagine that? We all have loved ones that wouldn’t be with us today without the NHS as we know it.
But the NHS is slipping through our fingers.
The Tory and Lib Dem government has already started selling off our NHS. Over 100 NHS services across England, from radiology departments to local GP clinics, are now being run by Virgin Care and other private companies. You probably wouldn’t even know if your GP clinic was now in private hands as the vultures buying up our services operate under the NHS logo. On top of that the NHS budget has been cut by £20bn, meaning 6,000 nurses have been lost since 2010.
It won’t be long before the NHS is no longer free at the point of use, publically owned and funded by us through our taxes. The Tories have already started discussing charging us to go and see our GP if they win in 2015.
The choice is clear. If Labour win the next general election we will repeal the Tory and Lib Dem Health and Social Care Act and bring the NHS back into public ownership.”
Find out more about The People’s March For The NHS here and please donate if you can – http://999callfornhs.org.uk/