Save the NHS

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | February 17, 2016 0

There is a crisis in the NHS and it is not just about Junior Doctors who have wide spread public support for their stance against the new contract Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is imposing on them. It is also about Nursing and Support Staff who have seen their wages cut in real terms by 15% since the Tory Government was elected in 2010. It is about the swathes of the NHS which are being cherry picked and privatised by the Tories financial backers. It is about the increased waiting times, death rates and attack on care by a government which does not care for the NHS. It is about saving the NHS formed by Labour in 1948 to provide universal healthcare based on clinical need from a government which does not want it.

Junior doctor leaders have promised to fight on after the government in England announced it will impose a new contract on the profession. The British Medical Association said it was “considering all options” as the dispute threatens to escalate further. It comes after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had been left with no choice but to act – just hours after the latest doctor strike ended.

The union refused to accept a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer from Jeremy Hunt.  BMA junior doctor leader Dr Johann Malawana said the contract was “flawed” and they had put forward a “fair and affordable” alternative. “The government’s shambolic handling of this process from start to finish has totally alienated a generation of junior doctors – the hospital doctors and GPs of the future, and there is a real risk that some will vote with their feet. Our message to the government is clear – junior doctors cannot and will not accept a contract that is bad for the future of patient care, the profession and the NHS as a whole, and we will consider all options open to us.” cameronnhs

The stance raises the prospect of more strikes, while behind the scenes there has been talk of legal action, mass resignations and doctors refusing to sign contracts. junior-doctors-1-pa

The junior doctor daughter of former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell has called for Jeremy Hunt to be sacked. In a letter to the Guardian, Andrew Mitchell’s daughter, Dr Hannah Mitchell, says the Health Secretary is “either dishonest or stupid” over his claims that reduced staffing leads to more hospital deaths at weekends.

jeremyhuntrecordDr Mitchell wrote: “The health secretary is not even clear on what he means by a seven-day-week NHS. He continues to misuse research to support his arguments. He has been told the statistics he uses are not correct, meaning he is either dishonest or stupid, I don’t know which is worse. He demonises the BMA, and lies about their actions.” She added: “The health secretary has alienated an entire generation of junior doctors, we have no confidence in him, he must be sacked.”


Aylesbury Labour Party celebrating the NHS’s birthday at the world famous Stoke Mandeville Hospital, home of the Paralympics

Now it transpires the number of doctors who applied for documentation to work abroad surged by over 1000 per cent the day Jeremy Hunt announced he would force a new contract on them, new figures show. 300 doctors applied for Certificates of Good Standing on Thursday 11 February – up from an average of 26 a day in February before the announcement.  Each junior doctor costs taxpayers around £300,000 to train – meaning that on just the day of Mr Hunt’s announcement alone doctors who had received £90 million worth of training took concrete steps towards emigrating.

In normal circumstances, openly calling for the dismantling of the NHS would usually exclude someone from being put in charge of it. Not in Cameron’s cabinet. In 2009 – before he became Secretary of State for Health – Jeremy Hunt co-wrote a book in which he called for the NHS to be broken up and  to be replaced by an insurance system. The 2005 policy book, called Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party, was a collection of writings authored by a group of Tory MPs. Amongst other ideas, the book contained a blueprint for replacing the NHS with an insurance market system – and called for the private sector to be brought in. A Health Secretary who’s breaking up the NHS and privatising hospital services, has managed to alienate the entire NHS workforce and who’s so incompetent it’s he has become the most hated politician in Britain, according to YouGov.

Earlier this week doctors started a Twitter hashtag #IAmTheDoctorWho to show their vital work. Yesterday, patients created their own tag in response to show their appreciation and support. To see more of the responses, visit #IAmThePatientWho.

If you doubt that this Tory Government is threatening the NHS and the dignity which healthcare free at the point of delivery gives to people in Britain, listen to the words of the great Jacqui Berry, an NHS Nurse on the frontline of looking after patients.



And here is Doctor Phil Hammond speaking total commonsense about how Jeremy Hunt should listen to 55,000 NHS whistle blowers and how the government should resource Health and Social Care to European levels.



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