Tuesday 16 May 2017

Keep our NHS public, no cuts in education

We assembled at Top Park in Leamington, ready to march for a Public NHS and against cuts in education.

We'd been here before, one year ago, when we marched in support of the striking junior doctors.

There were approximately 400 of us (not bad for a town of 60,000) calling for a stop to privatisation and cuts in the NHS and proper funding for schools.

Some interesting banners and posters

The Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan will see some £270 million cut through an overhaul of health services, while school budgets in Warwick and Stratford districts face cuts of some £10.5 million as part of a new national schools funding formula put forward by the previous government.

We assembled at the Pump Room Gardens for the rally.

Anna Pollert, the chair of the South Warwickshire Keep our NHS Public group, said: 'We're here to tell our local representatives and this government that we won't stand for the destruction of our NHS and our educational system by the savage cuts being imposed by the Tories. The decade 2010-2020 sees the largest ever sustained reduction in health spending as a % of GDP. The Government claims it has invested £10 billion. It hasn't. The true figure is £4.5 billion and it's not enough to meet growing health care needs. It's privatising the NHS by stealth. And the cost of running the NHS as a market costs at least £4.5 billion'.

She also read a letter from a doctor who was unable to attend: 'Best of luck with the event and thank you for all the work you're doing for the NHS. I'm afraid I won't be an NHS doctor for much longer. After speaking with 5 of my friends who have emigrated to New Zealand, I have decided to move to Ireland this summer in the hopes of a better life than I can have here. Unfortunately it seems we have reached breaking point in our hospitals to the point of danger to our patients. I wish I could stay and fight the good fight, but I feel I have no choice but to think of my own future as well. Thank you again for all your hard work. With some luck and enough courage maybe the NHS can rise from the ashes'.

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