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Hands off our National Health Service

The Anglian Pensioner Association

World War II commenced in Sept.1939 and ended in 1945. For the first two years Britain stood alone. During that time vast quantities of gold bullion was shipped to America along with lucrative British Government Assets in South America to pay for weapons and supplies. America entered the conflict in Dec. 1941 only when it was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbour.

When Labour was elected in 1945 Britain was almost bankrupt, but within two years the National Health Service was created. The main instigator was health minister Aneurin Bevin, and it was based on the Beveridge Report. In view of Britain's dire financial situation it was a very commendable achievement, and later became the envy of the world.
Now. sixty years on we have a New Labour prime minister who is hell bent on dismantling the NHS by replacing it with a two-tier system, promoting privatisation and funnelling billions of pounds of NHS cash into the private sector to pay for operations that are considerably more expensive than those carried out by the NHS. And even honouring contracts when no service has been provided.

A government sponsored private sector with the wherewithal to poach the most qualified staff from the NHS will eventually result in only the wealthy having access to the best doctors, surgeons and specialists while the less fortunate will have to take pot-luck with the resources available of the NHS. Around 12 percent of NHS trusts are already asking hospitals to delay operations due to the funding crisis which is also affecting other areas of the NHS.

For example, in 2003 the first private Accident and Emergency department opened, with priority treatment for cash. But how many pensioners classified as living below the poverty line or workers receiving the minimum wage could take advantage of that scheme?
During New Labour's reign, due to the lack of trained staff, doctors and nurses were recruited from third world countries that had used their meagre resources for training purposes. Now, as a result of our government's poaching policy there is a serious deficit of medical personnel in those poorer countries. How ethical is that?

By the end of the financial year the NHS will be 1 billion in debt, as a consequence newly qualified nurses are unable to find work in the health service and are now working in shops and pubs. The 2,000 junior doctors who have now completed their initial training at a cost of 237.000 are also unable to find jobs because of the shortage of training posts.

In 2004 statistics showed that there were around 199,600 hospital beds compared with 244,000 administration staff.
With 80 per cent of hospitals in the red, resources are being wasted by the pursuit of government targets and additional bureaucracy. NHS managers are receiving record salaries of 200,000.Agency nurses cost the NHS trusts 625million in 2004 as against 216 million in1997.
New Labour's solution for cutting waiting lists - create a waiting list to get on the waiting lists.

A recent report revealed that more than 30hospitals have full-time Arts co-ordinators and Arts managers. A London hospital advertised for a Visual Arts Director - the salary 36,693.

All is not lost - Support the campaign to KEEP our NHS public





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