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Save our NHS!

5th September 2014

Save our NHS!

This is the text of the leaflet the LRC is distributing on Saturday 6th September as the 999NHS march arrives at London. Darlington mums have marched 300 miles from Jarrow to London to help save the NHS. We salute them.

The election of a Tory government in 2015 would signal the end of the NHS as we know it.

* Freezing the budget as part of the Coalition’s austerity measures to pay for the bankers’ crisis is having a devastating effect.

* Opening up NHS services to the private profit-making sector is weakening clinical services already under severe constraint.

In June, 71 leaders of local NHS organisations wrote to the Guardian newspaper warning of the impending financial crisis in the NHS.

They warned that the NHS will become unsustainable as a universal service providing care free at the point of need before very long.

With increasing demands on the service they estimated that an extra £20 billion was needed by 2020 just to stand still.

Labour are making some positive moves. The Shadow Health Minister Andy Burnham has called for a halt to putting any more services out to tender before the election.

Labour MP Clive Efford is moving a Private Member’s Bill to repeal section 75 of the government’s Health and Social Care Act. This compels commissioners to put health services out to contract. He has the support of Labour’s front bench.

Labour’s proposals to integrate health and social care services are progressive.

Their proposals to halt most privatisation are a major step forward. Policy proposals on improving preventative and primary care are also to be welcomed. The only problem is the Labour leadership’s persistent kowtowing to the myth that there is no extra money for investment in the NHS.

It is estimated that £120 billion is lost to the Treasury each year through tax evasion alone.

The NHS spends £11 billion a year on medicines and that equates to 18% of the entire budget. Private drug companies have openly boasted about the profits they are making from the NHS while health professionals have consistently expressed concern over lax procurement procedures.

Surely the nationalisation of the major pharmaceutical companies - run on the basis of need and not profit - is the answer.

If Labour stood up to big business and their tax dodging antics there would be more than enough for investment in the NHS.

* Join the fight for a properly funded NHS making joined up health and social care services a reality.

* End the destruction of our NHS by the Tory-led coalition government - for a Labour government committed to an NHS, properly funded, cleansed of private contractors and free at the point of need. Restore the Secretary of State’s duty to provide comprehensive healthcare

* Repeal the Health and Social Care Act

* Reverse privatisation and outsourcing at every level

* Liberate the NHS from extortionate PFI charges

* Abolish the internal market

* Ensure decent, national wages, pensions and conditions for those working for the NHS

* Fund decent provision for all through progressive taxation


* Lobby your MP to support Clive Efford’s Private Members Bill to repeal section 75 of the government’s Health and Social Care Act.

* Full support for campaigns in defence of NHS facilities, such as opposition to hospital closures.

* Resolutions should be put to union and Labour Party bodies and community organisations welcoming the progressive changes that are being proposed, such as the integration of health and social care, abolishing the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act and ending privatisation – but making the crucial point that this has to be properly funded if the fine words are to be turned into reality.

The Labour Representation Committee campaigns for socialism, and works to secure a voice for socialist policies in the Labour Party, trades unions and campaigns. We support industrial action by trades unionists, campaign against all cuts in public services and jobs, against racism and for international solidarity. As well as individual members, some national unions and many union branches are affiliated to the LRC.

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