UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

London demands that Coalition drop NHS Bill

Last night a packed Central Hall in Westminster demanded that the Con Dem Government drop their pernicious NHS and Social Care Bill. Trade Union leaders, health workers, patients, politicians, celebrities and doctors queued up to give an unequivocal message, that this Bill will destroy the NHS and we may have less than two weeks to save it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/07/save-nhs-rally-health-bill

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said the so called NHS reforms have nothing to do with improving health care but everything to do with privatising health provision. Evoking the words of Anuerin Bevan he called on those present to have faith and fight to save our NHS.

Dr Hamish Meldrum from the BMA said doctors believed in the NHS but this reform would fragment and undermine joined up care.

Hotfoot from the House of Lords, David Owen said that unlike Bevan in 1948, Cameron and Clegg have no mandate for this reform of health care. He warned that "poison runs deep within the Bill and it has been deliberately set up to hand health care over to the market".

Healthworkers from different professions gave a glimpse of how the Bill is already destabilising health care and expressed their fear for the future.

There was a huge cheer for patient Vikki Mills who is expecting twins. Ms Mills said she is fed up being told that she the only reason she is against the Bill is because she doesn't understand it. To massive cheers, she declared that the very reason she is opposes the Bill is because she does understand it.

A note of humour was introduced by Jo Brand with a funny and warm hearted contribution but behind the laughs was a serious message, the NHS belongs to us all and this government must not be allowed to destroy it.

The mood in the hall was confident and defiant and apart from a tiny sectarian element, there was a united commitment to not only step up the fight over the coming weeks but to ensure that the future of NHS becomes a political fight right up to the next General Election.