|Year 2006 No. 75, September 5, 2006||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBBOOKS||SUBSCRIBE|
Safeguarding the Future of the NHS:
Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :
Safeguarding the Future of the NHS:
The Demand to Outlaw the Involvement of the Private Sector in Public Services
NHS Rally 2006
NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA.
Phone: (Local Rate from outside London 0845 644 1979) 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to RCPB(ML)):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
4 issues - £2.95, 6 months - £18.95 for 26 issues, Yearly - £33.95 (including postage)
Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10
Safeguarding the Future of the NHS:
With the stepped up anti-social offensive, social programmes such as health and education are under attack and their effective privatisation is accelerating. This is creating an unprecedented opposition both from workers in the public sector and from people from all walks of life who demand that these programmes serve the public well-being and not the profit of the rich. The days of the social welfare state, together with the social contract between workers and the big employers, have become practically a thing of the past, and this has brought with it an undermining by the state and government of even the concept of a publicly funded health service and other social programmes.
This attack on revenue being provided from the national social product appropriated from the productive sectors of the economy is being underpinned with an ideology which serves to trash the social economy and to entrench the idea of competing centres of monopoly capital. This ideology is being extended to try and justify the idea of competition within every sphere of life, including the provision of health care and education.
The prevailing ideology being pushed is to treat health care like a commodity, a product subject to the law of value, whose exchange value is determined by the social necessary labour time worked up into it. This treatment is also actually leading to the commodification of health care, e.g. the sale of drugs, the consumption of health care in hospitals, the using up of the value of capital equipment, and so on. But added to this is the funding actually funnelled through the health service into the pockets of the private sector, both directly, as a reward for sinking capital into the public sector, and through the exploitation of health workers, and forcing sick individuals to pay for health care, which has already been funded from the accumulated national social product. Thus the ill are not treated as human beings who need treatment, but as consumers who exercise choice over health care, when what is required is that their claims be met for health care available at the highest level society is able to provide at present.
In this way, the private sector is utilising the health service to both rob funds directly from the state treasury and to exploit health workers and other workers connected with the health service to make profits through the provision of health care, guaranteed and underwritten by the state. PFI, the selling and reselling of PFI contracts for new hospitals, the mega-contracts, the payment to armies of business consultants, all are netting big business and financial institutions billions of pounds in cash.
The demand of health workers and working people as a whole is that no new contracts must be signed with immediate effect. This will allow a public investigation to be launched into the privateers and the whole system of budgeting of the NHS, with a view to reclaiming back for the public purse the huge profits pocketed by the capitalists. This will also create the conditions for safeguarding the future by ensuring that all health care is placed under public control, and that health workers and professionals should be involved in setting the standards of care and staffing in the health service, and themselves assessing their own worth. The health service must be regarded as an integral part of a modern economic system with a social economy geared to serving the needs of its citizens. In this respect, the working people, exercising their social responsibility, must demand and fight that the claims of all to health care must be adequately met, without quibble and without imposing entirely artificial budget restraints, out of the whole social product produced nationally by them. In other words, their right to health care must be guaranteed through the investment of their total social product in the health service. The same goes for their right to education at the highest possible standard and for other social programmes so that the wealth that is produced through their labour is applied for the public good, and not siphoned off to private capitalists or applied to the aggressive military programmes or otherwise taken out of the national economy.
The demand for a public investigation under the control of the people themselves would be an important step in bringing the finance capitalists to account for their parasitism, and in involving the working class and people in exercising their social responsibility, bringing the privateers to heel and setting the direction of the economy so that it benefits the public well-being and not the rich and powerful. Such a public investigation would also be an important step in bringing into being a pro-worker and pro-social government through the involvement of the working people themselves in informing and politicising themselves.
From the South-West to the North-East, the people are demonstrating their determination to reverse the cut-backs in and the privatisation of the health service. Two articles from The Cornishman, August 31, 2006.
27,000 On the March Make the Message Clear
It was to the sound of Trelawny that 27,000 Cornishmen, women and children took over the streets of Hayle on Sunday. Marching behind the banner of Save our Cornish Hospitals, protesters sent a clear message to both health chiefs and the government that they will not stand for any downgrading of the countys National Health Service.
In scenes reminiscent of four years ago when 20,000 marched through Penzance in protest of threats to West Cornwall Hospital, Sundays mass demonstration saw an even greater turnout for countywide health services shutting down the towns two centres to traffic and turning the day into one of the biggest events Hayle has ever seen.
Buoyed along by the sounds of a number of bands, many carried posters and placards spelling out their concerns, while two planes circled overhead trailing huge signs demanding Save Our Hospitals and Save St Michaels.
Around 200 people helped oversee the weekend protest, which was initiated by Hayle Town Council, and organisers including those from the Mayors Parlour Campaign Team, West Cornwall HealthWatch and Penwith Council were delighted with the turnout.
Such was its scale that by the time the first protesters had reached the end of the march at the recreation ground, those at the very back were just setting off from the starting point outside St Michaels Hospital. From a stationary point by the viaduct which passes over Foundry centre of town, the march which was up to 10 people wide in places took some half an hour to pass by.
Among those marching with the public were hospital staff, their union, and representatives from the St Michaels Breast Care Group.
Thousands more people also lined the streets cheering them on as they made their way to the recreation ground, where 500 more supporters are estimated to have gathered to greet them.
March co-ordinator John Bennett told The Cornishman: Our estimate is that we had 27,000 people here today people were arriving at the recreation ground while people were still starting off from Paradise Park.
Our expectations have been met. So many people came, and to have them here in such a small town sends out a wonderful statement. Paul Birch, the mayor of Hayle, was also delighted with the turnout: Today has been a major success it was what we hoped for.
This sends a clear message to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust that the people of Cornwall arent going to stand for second rate health services.
A Clear and Unified Aim
Sunday's march through Hayle can have left no one in any doubt as to the strength of feeling about healthcare services in west Cornwall. The estimated 27,000 turn out was magnificent given the myriad rival attractions that compete for attention on a bank holiday weekend.
However, for a hospital spokesperson to claim that the protesters didn't know what they were marching for is silly.
The walkers may individually have had a different emphasis for marching some against the possible closure of St Michael's Hospital, some to ensure that emergency treatment remains available at West Cornwall Hospital and others to oppose any possible cuts in wards and services at Treliske.
But everyone was marching with the clear and unified aim of making the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and the government aware that cutbacks to services through under-funding will not be tolerated. The 27,000 marchers were hammering home the message that they expect to be treated every bit as well as any other NHS patient in the country. The sooner that message sinks home, the better.
NHS Rally 2006
is the question of your health being manoeuvred into the hands of PROFITEERS?
is Westminster becoming a POLITICAL ABDICATION centre, particularly for government ministers - Europe is a prime example?
There are signs that CANCEROUS PRIVATISATION of the Health Service is gathering pace and needs to be derailed without delay. Campaigners will not tolerate anything that is likely to destroy or undermine the NHS and its importance to the health of every individual in this country. That is why West Midlands Pensioners Convention have organised a rally in Birmingham, details of which are below. This is intended to support the work also being undertaken by other groups nationwide, and the Convention urges as many people as possible to attend and demonstrate the depth of feeling for keeping the NHS in the public domain.
More information about this extremely important campaign can also be obtained by clicking here >>> www.keepournhspublic.com.
KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC
SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN TO KEEP OUR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE PUBLIC
DEMONSTRATION & RALLY
SATURDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER 2006
ASSEMBLE St PHILLIPS CHURCHYARD
COLMORE ROW, BIRMINGHAM
12.00 - 12.30pm
RALLY AT 2.00pm TO 4.00pm
FRANK COOPER - President of the National Pensioners Convention
Dr. ELIZABETH BARRETT.
Promoted by West Midlands Pensioners Convention
RCPB(ML) Home Page
Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page