Saturday, July 05, 2008
Happy Birthday to the NHS- and how we can save it
The National Health Service, the greatest of all the many great achievements of the post-war 'Old' Labour governments of 1945-51, is 60 years old today.
How should we mark the anniversary? By wearing badges like Nu Labour politicians and pretending that everything's hunky dory? No, we should mark the anniversary by doing all we can to restore the NHS to its original state. That means an immediate halt to plans for the greater involvement of private companies in public health provision. It means axing the planned polyclinics- which would eventually be run by big business. It means scrapping the scandalously expensive PFI schemes. It means bringing back in-house those hospital activities which have been privatised to such disastrous effect- such as cleaning and catering. It means putting Matron back in charge of the wards and stopping the politically motivated attacks on the medical profession. It means restoring NHS dentistry and scrapping prescription charges in England. In short it means fighting for the sort of National Health Service that that great socialist and humanitarian politician Aneurin Bevan envisaged sixty years ago.