Sadly, Medical leadership as it stands cannot be relied upon to lead the campaign to defend workers health interests. (I have lost count of the times I’ve been told by consultants that they have BUPA care.)
Only strong pressure from the organised working class can play this role. I hope this campaign will seek to embrace the broadest sections of the community possible. It is the only way to save Lewisham Hospital – and the NHS.
This article from a delegate to the 2010 Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, makes it clear that any and all of the main political parties have a clear agenda to slash health spending by just these kind of measures: create an environment of impossible financial constraint (job done); claim hospitals are ‘financially failing’ (almost finished); and sack workers, close / privatise services (in progress), and ultimately leave us with only skeleton provision (now a matter of time – unless…)
Lalkar article from a delegate at the 2010 congress of the Association of Surgeons of Greaet Britain and Ireland – just before the General Election that brought the Con-Dem coalition in: http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/may2010/nhs.html
What sounded like scaremongering a decade ago – although the privatisation of hospital cleaners, the Hillingdon cleaners’ strike, etc. was in retrospect a clear chance to act that was ignored by most of us – is now almost a fait accomplis.
At what point do the BMJ, RCN, etc., decide it is our ethical duty to protect the lives of patients by protecting service provision – just as it is our duty to practise safe prescribing, or learn some relevant anatomy before performing an operation?
Our political ‘leaders’ have no such scruple. This is a time when the common sense and common decency of patients, workers and the local community must take the lead.
Show your support for the hardworking staff of Lewisham Hospital, and the support they give the hardworking, people of Lewisham, already struggling under the burden of the financial crisis: Join the Demo on 26 Jan