Patricia Hewitt has consistently refused to take any responsibility for the crisis in the NHS. Health workers and other hospital employees are sick and tired of her bleating rhetoric about how the NHS has received record amounts of money and that more doctors and nurses have been employed under a Labour government than ever before. Now she is trying to justify cuts, closures and job freezing by claiming that 'some parts of the NHS in England have taken on too many doctors and nurses'
I'm sure that many people would be intrigued to know where these hospitals are that seem to have a surplus of staff. Certainly none of the places I have worked which include Merseyside, Yorkshire, Sussex and Cambridgeshire have such luxury!
She states that she will get the NHS back into budget by March next year which can only mean one thing - more cuts and job losses.
It is vital that effective campaigns oppose the privatisation of our NHS. We are seeing record amounts of NHS money filtering out into the hands of corporate business who are responsible to shareholders. PFI schemes are not only reducing services to those that are the most profitable, they are costing the taxpayer millions as costs spiral.
The Tories are jumping on the bandwagon too, trying to claim to be the party of the NHS. Many MP's are hijacking local campaigns to protest against closures. We should not be fooled by this. Under the Tories the policy on the NHS would remain almost identical to that of New Labour, with closures and job losses, privatisation and cutbacks.
The trade union bureaucracy needs to wake up before it is too late and we no longer have an NHS to defend. This will be one of the key battlegrounds and fights for the unions. We need to push the unions to name the day for national action and be at the forefront of groups such as Keep our NHS Public and Public Service Not Private Profit.www.keepournhspublic.comwww.publicnotprivate.org.uk