Isle of Wight Save Our NHS group gains momentum
(Report for onthewight}
The Group say if planned STP is allowed to continue unchallenged, we could be witness to complete destruction of NHS as we know it. Islanders are invited to join the group to find out more.
Christine shares this report from the Isle of Wight Save Our NHS group. Ed
On Friday 26th May the first public meeting of the Island’s recently formed campaign group dedicated to saving our National Health Service was held at the Aspire in Ryde.
The meeting was well attended by group members, as well as members of the public and with the exception of Conservative Bob Seely who failed to send his apologies, all other Parliamentary Candidates accepted our invitation.
Slash, trash and privatise
The meeting, chaired by Mark Chiverton of Isle of Wight’s Trade Council kicked off with a presentation by Tony Jones, Unison’s Regional Head of Health who explained the concept of the Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP) which is being rolled out across the country.
Among the initiated, this is commonly referred to as SLASH, TRASH and PRIVATISE as it is a programme designed by the Conservative Government to make massive cuts and closures to our National Health Service. The Isle of Wight will most certainly be seriously and disproportionately affected by the regional proposals.
Informative and terrifying
The presentation was both informative and terrifying. It shocked many at the meeting who had never heard of STPs and it became manifestly clear that the majority of the unsuspecting public, nationwide including many who work in the Health Service, are totally blind to what is happening under our very noses.
If the planned STP is allowed to continue unchallenged, we could be witness to the complete destruction of the NHS as we know it. Parts have already been sold off by the Conservative Government to privateers such as Richard Branson, who is allegedly suing the Government for £1million of taxpayer’s money for not being awarded a certain NHS contract. And there are more vultures waiting to swoop. If this is allowed to continue we would almost certainly find ourselves with health provisions modelled on that of the USA and even now, American companies are looking with interest to buy out chunks of the NHS to run as profitable concerns for their shareholders.
There’ll be no going back
As most of us know USA healthcare operates using private insurance (loaded with exemption clauses) which limits or denies decent health care to those who cannot afford to pay. If we sit back and allow this to happen there will be absolutely NO going back and our NHS, free at the point of service will be lost forever.
Already in the UK we have Food Banks to feed the desperate and pop up soup kitchens to feed the homeless but pop up hospitals as seen in America are not beyond the realm of possibility if we are complacent.
Parliamentary candidates, Julian Critchley (Labour), Nicholas Belfitt (Lib dem), Vix Lowthion (Green), Julie Jones-Evans (Ind) and Daryll Pitcher (UKIP) were asked to explain their party’s own policies on the NHS followed by questions from the audience.
Thankfully, it appears that none present supported STPs and were committed to preserving the NHS as one of their top priorities in order to keep it within the public domain.
“Keep our NHS public”
David Smith and Anna Ridehalgh from Southampton’s “Keep our NHS public” (KONP) also attended the meeting to offer the benefit of their campaigning/lobbying experience and to guide us in the right direction.
The concerted effort by localised groups in Hampshire and Isle of Wight will come under the umbrella of the Regional Defend our NHS organisation.
Our group is open to anybody on the Island and should you require further information please contact Steve Gibbs or Christine Lightbody on firstname.lastname@example.org People who use Facebook can also join our group at iowsaveournhs