PRESS RELEASE – Austerity Hurts Health – The People’s March Against Austerity 20 June

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Immediate release – 17 June 2015

Austerity measures hurt the NHS, NOT protect it – which is why Keep Our NHS Public will be part of the People’s March Against Austerity this Saturday, 20 June, in London.

The People’s Assembly (http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/calendar ) are expecting hundreds of thousands to flood the streets of London in opposition to this government’s austerity plans, with a March and rally from outside the Bank of England (Queen Victoria Street) to Parliament Square, to hear high-profile speakers on the devastating effects of ‘austerity’ and what it really means to many people, often when they are at their most vulnerable and in need of help.

There are already signs that hospitals are increasingly unable to discharge frail elderly people back into the community because of cutbacks in social care (eg Age UK’s recent report highlighting this, http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/bed-days-lost-social-care-delays). This is as a direct result of the government’s ‘austerity’ measures, which disproportionally affect the most vulnerable.

KONP Co-Chair, Professor Sue Richards, said:

‘Austerity hurts the NHS. The NHS cannot function unless other public services are working well and not being cut to ribbons. Frail people who are no longer ill cannot be discharged from hospital because social care budgets have been slashed, children cannot be cured of respiratory disease because they live in cold, damp homes. People who cannot afford enough good food will need more medication to aid their recovery. The sheer stress of making ends meet and the long working hours needed by people on low wages contribute to the appalling gap between life expectancy of the richest and poorest in our society.

‘Cameron claims to protect the NHS, but you only do that by ensuring that our society looks after the vulnerable, nurtures the young enables us all to live healthy lives.’

[Ends]

Editors’ Notes

Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are 46 local groups, plus a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details: www.keepournhspublic.com

KONP’s Campaigns and Press Officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

press@keepournhspublic.com

healthjournos@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keepnhspublic

Facebook: Keep-Our-NHS-Public

[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigely, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.

[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]


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