For an NHS Consistent with an Anti-War Government
The Day of Action called by Health Campaigns Together and the People’s Assembly is very timely, as the direction in which the government is taking the NHS is the direct opposite of what the people demand of a National Health Service.
The people have taken to the streets time and time again to demand a change in the direction of the NHS. For instance, on March 4 last year when over 200,000 marched in London; for instance, in all the militant local campaigns up and down the country to save hospitals and specialist services.
Jeremy Corbyn has encapsulated the people’s sentiment and modern outlook when he has emphasised in the House of Commons, and in campaigning, that health care is a right, a human right.
This in itself underlines that the solution to the crisis of the NHS is not simply one of turning back the clock and reinstating the founding principles of the NHS, even if this were possible.
It raises the question as to who decides. When the slogan is raised: Whose NHS? to be answered by: Our NHS! then this immediately puts on the agenda that the power to enforce that ownership of the people and guarantee their rights is absent at present, and what is required is that decision-making power of the working people.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Theresa May government as a whole are in denial as to the depth of the crisis in the health service. Whether they actually believe their denial is not so much the issue. The issue is that the people themselves know, especially health workers and professionals, and are fighting vigorously.
The NHS can only function if it is a component part of an economy and a society where those who know and care for the well-being of the people are able to determine its direction from top to bottom. This is what a modern society should look like.
We are raising that working people as a whole, together with all who work in the health service, should discuss how to take action on this question. We think that people should consider the funding, the organisation and the whole direction of the NHS based on the right to health care in the context of the necessity for an anti-war government. Is this not the burning question of our times?
When it those who threaten humanity with unthinkable catastrophes who have the power to make the decisions and the power to exclude the people from decision-making, is it any wonder that funding can be found for arms and foreign interventions but not investment for health, education, and other vital public services which are the hallmark of a modern society. How can it be that the people who create the wealth are denied the right to determine the application of that wealth?
The direction the government is taking the NHS at a headlong pace is to ensure that private interests are the ones that benefit from the funding of the health service, and this is consistent with the actions of a pro-war government. What the people demand is the safeguarding of the future of the health service in a manner which is consistent with an anti-war government in which the people consciously participate in making the decisions which determine a pro-social direction for society.
Health Care Is a Right! Intensify the Fight!
For An NHS Funded by an Anti-War Government!