Protest in Bexley against cuts to hospitals

Pictures courtesy of Robert Towler

Pictures courtesy of Robert Towler

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

People have protested against the alleged privatisation of the NHS in Bexley.

Around 70 campaigners marched between Welling and Bexleyheath to raise awareness of concerns over public services.

The event was organised by three organisations: the National Health Action Party (NHAP), Keep our NHS Public and Save Our Local Hospitals.

Welling GP Dr Bob Gill is also Chair National Health Action Party, Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich Local Group and addressed protesters at the end of the rally at Bexleyheath Clock Tower in Market Place.

He said: "Our hospitals and surgeries are being deliberately underfunded.

"Patient care and staff morale is suffering.

"Our government is trying to ruin the reputation of the NHS and lead the public lose faith with the service so they can be persuaded that privatisation and having an insurance-based system will be a solution."

News Shopper: Anti-privatisation rally in Bexley

Member of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich branch of NHAP Judith Wright said: "We're here to raise awareness of what is happening to the NHS.

"Our organisation was set up to give voters a real alternative to the three major parties and UKIP all of whom go along with the ongoing cuts and privatisation."

Paula Peters, of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: "We all use the NHS, and see our GP and anyone can become sick or develop a devastating illness - it’s something we should all be fighting for, not just for us, but all the future generations who come after us. "

The protest took place on May 17.

Email SaveTheNHS@mail.com

Comments (4)

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6:48pm Thu 29 May 14

a.pleb says...

Your article on the march from Welling to Bexleyheath starts with the phrase alleged privatisation of the NHS. The coalition government and the previous Labour government between them have privatised walkin centres ,hospital transport ,some GP services, hearing aids, anticoagulation services occupational therapists physiotherapy urgent care at the Princess Royal and much more. Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich and Princess Royal have large PFI debts and are underfunded. Hospitals that fail lead to public confidence in the NHS diminishing which in turn will lead to more privatisation.
Your article on the march from Welling to Bexleyheath starts with the phrase alleged privatisation of the NHS. The coalition government and the previous Labour government between them have privatised walkin centres ,hospital transport ,some GP services, hearing aids, anticoagulation services occupational therapists physiotherapy urgent care at the Princess Royal and much more. Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich and Princess Royal have large PFI debts and are underfunded. Hospitals that fail lead to public confidence in the NHS diminishing which in turn will lead to more privatisation. a.pleb
  • Score: 9

12:57am Fri 30 May 14

Bird City Sailor says...

The current ongoing privatisation of our NHS is not and allegation, it is an undeniable fact!

The NHS is on the brink of extinction and we need to be shouting it not doubting it; that is to say we the public and you the news media. Don't just slide in the word 'alleged' and sit back thinking that's the safe move; do some investigative journalism and then publish the truth, at the same time helping to protect our NHS for future generations!

Government policy and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it will possibly be gone in as little as five years unless someone speaks up, Someone who will stand up and shout: loud enough for all to hear "Look! The NHS is at the brink of extinction. And David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Nic Clegg are facilitating its demise on the back of the Health and Social Care Act (H&SCA) 2012, for which there never was an electoral mandate".

The policies of Hunt and the coalition Government are leading to eventual total privatisation of the NHS, a process that has deep roots in Thatcherite ideology, with Clinical Commissioning Groups opening every NHS corner to "any qualified provider", the whole service can be taken over by private companies operating for profit, with a few token charities and mutuals. NHS hospitals will then be faced with the consequences of cherry-picking by private consortia, risking bankruptcy when left to deal only with the more complex and most costly (hence least profitable) cases.

Not too many people realise that with the H&SCA 2012 the government scrapped the Health Secretary's duty to secure a comprehensive health service, Hunt is now legally able to wash his hands of the entire mess; a situation that must be reversed urgently, so restoring democratic accountability. Failure to do this will result in OUR NHS quickly becoming an American style Insurance based health service; much more costly but with poorer outcomes.

One quote from the marchers in the march that you report was "How do we spell complacency - PRIVATE - HEALTH - INSURANCE". That's OK I can hear some say, but let's think about this. Unless you are interdependently wealthy, most people who do have private health insurance (majority as a perk of a job) cannot guarantee that they'll have it for life, and certainly cannot guarantee it for their kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids. And what about their loved ones, extended families and friends?

Another quote from those marchers is, "Who's NHS - Our NHS"; and of course that means your NHS as well. There will almost certainly come a day when you or a loved one is going to need the NHS.

MAKE SURE IT WILL STILL BE THERE FOR THEM!
The current ongoing privatisation of our NHS is not and allegation, it is an undeniable fact! The NHS is on the brink of extinction and we need to be shouting it not doubting it; that is to say we the public and you the news media. Don't just slide in the word 'alleged' and sit back thinking that's the safe move; do some investigative journalism and then publish the truth, at the same time helping to protect our NHS for future generations! Government policy and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it will possibly be gone in as little as five years unless someone speaks up, Someone who will stand up and shout: loud enough for all to hear "Look! The NHS is at the brink of extinction. And David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and Nic Clegg are facilitating its demise on the back of the Health and Social Care Act (H&SCA) 2012, for which there never was an electoral mandate". The policies of Hunt and the coalition Government are leading to eventual total privatisation of the NHS, a process that has deep roots in Thatcherite ideology, with Clinical Commissioning Groups opening every NHS corner to "any qualified provider", the whole service can be taken over by private companies operating for profit, with a few token charities and mutuals. NHS hospitals will then be faced with the consequences of cherry-picking by private consortia, risking bankruptcy when left to deal only with the more complex and most costly (hence least profitable) cases. Not too many people realise that with the H&SCA 2012 the government scrapped the Health Secretary's duty to secure a comprehensive health service, Hunt is now legally able to wash his hands of the entire mess; a situation that must be reversed urgently, so restoring democratic accountability. Failure to do this will result in OUR NHS quickly becoming an American style Insurance based health service; much more costly but with poorer outcomes. One quote from the marchers in the march that you report was "How do we spell complacency - PRIVATE - HEALTH - INSURANCE". That's OK I can hear some say, but let's think about this. Unless you are interdependently wealthy, most people who do have private health insurance (majority as a perk of a job) cannot guarantee that they'll have it for life, and certainly cannot guarantee it for their kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids. And what about their loved ones, extended families and friends? Another quote from those marchers is, "Who's NHS - Our NHS"; and of course that means your NHS as well. There will almost certainly come a day when you or a loved one is going to need the NHS. MAKE SURE IT WILL STILL BE THERE FOR THEM! Bird City Sailor
  • Score: 10

3:26pm Sat 31 May 14

Shelter says...

In the above article you say the march was against the “alleged” privatisation of the NHS. Maybe that is the technicality that gets the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP off the hook. Perhaps a new word “Prifranchising” needs to be coined to describe the sleight of hand that sees our NHS being turned into a profit making business.
When did politicians last giveaway power? When the EU was in melt down and in some countries the decision of austerity was implemented by bureaucrats whilst the politicians of those countries stood to one side relinquishing their power whilst it was done. Well we have a similar situation with the NHS the Health Secretary is no longer responsible for providing a health care service. So who does take responsibility for the overall provision of the nation’s health? Those that can afford it?
No party had the “Prifranchising” of the NHS in their manifesto, indeed when interviewed before the election Cameron stated quite clearly there would be no top down reorganisation of the NHS.
Our politicians have sold the average person out to big business. The data shows our NHS delivers better care per pound spent by the population than that of the USA the system we are being quietly marched towards.
The NHS needs all the support it can get from the onslaught of half-truths coming from those that would see it in the hands of the profit makers.
In the above article you say the march was against the “alleged” privatisation of the NHS. Maybe that is the technicality that gets the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP off the hook. Perhaps a new word “Prifranchising” needs to be coined to describe the sleight of hand that sees our NHS being turned into a profit making business. When did politicians last giveaway power? When the EU was in melt down and in some countries the decision of austerity was implemented by bureaucrats whilst the politicians of those countries stood to one side relinquishing their power whilst it was done. Well we have a similar situation with the NHS the Health Secretary is no longer responsible for providing a health care service. So who does take responsibility for the overall provision of the nation’s health? Those that can afford it? No party had the “Prifranchising” of the NHS in their manifesto, indeed when interviewed before the election Cameron stated quite clearly there would be no top down reorganisation of the NHS. Our politicians have sold the average person out to big business. The data shows our NHS delivers better care per pound spent by the population than that of the USA the system we are being quietly marched towards. The NHS needs all the support it can get from the onslaught of half-truths coming from those that would see it in the hands of the profit makers. Shelter
  • Score: 8

10:51am Sun 1 Jun 14

Bird City Sailor says...

Yes, David Cameron did promised there would be no more top down reorganisations didn't he? . But he went on to spend billions of pounds on a top-down reorganization that nobody wanted and nobody voted for, that has put the principles of markets and competition at the heart of the NHS. A boost for his friends in private companies and competition lawyers and a burden for everyone else.

In any other line of business, a reasonable judgment would surely be that he 'LIED'!!
Yes, David Cameron did promised there would be no more top down reorganisations didn't he? . But he went on to spend billions of pounds on a top-down reorganization that nobody wanted and nobody voted for, that has put the principles of markets and competition at the heart of the NHS. A boost for his friends in private companies and competition lawyers and a burden for everyone else. In any other line of business, a reasonable judgment would surely be that he 'LIED'!! Bird City Sailor
  • Score: 5

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