Assemble 12pm Tavistock Square, London WC1
March through London to Parliament
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged “everyone who cares for our NHS” to join him at a major demonstration in London next month.
Mr Corbyn made the call today as tens of thousands are set to join the biggest ever national demonstration for the NHS on Saturday 4 March.
The demonstration, called by anti-austerity organisation the People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, takes place with the NHS facing the biggest crisis in its history.
The protest will demand:
*a fully funded, publicly owned, NHS & social care service
*No cuts, no closures, no privatisation
*End the pay restraint for NHS staff
LABOUR CREATED THE NHS
Mr Corbyn said: “Labour created the NHS to care for us all. Now it’s time to care for the NHS.
“After seven years of a Conservative Government we’re experiencing the worst NHS winter crisis on record because the Tories are cutting funding and privatising social care and the NHS. 3.9 million people are waiting for treatment in our NHS,
“1.8 million people are waiting 4 hours or more in A&E and one in four of us waiting a week or more to see or speak to a GP or nurse, or even not getting an appointment at all.
“The crisis in social care means 1.2 million desperate people not getting the help they need. Our children, our parents and our grandparents are going without the care they need and deserve.
“The NHS is the Labour Party’s proudest creation. It was created because we know that health care free at the point of use is a human right. The Labour Party is committed to giving social care and our National Health Service the funding it needs to repair the damage done by the Tories and so no one goes without the care they need.
A Range of Speakers
Jeremy Corbyn, who will address the rally in Parliament Square, will also be joined by a range of speakers representing NHS workers, unions, campgins and celebrities including; John McDonnell MP, Julie Hesmondhalagh, Len McCluskey, Jacqui Berry, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir (2015 Xmas No.1).
Nurse and UNISON NEC member Jac Berry warned “The years of ongoing pay restraint has created a crisis of recruitment and retention in nursing.”
She claimed it was a “conscious strategy to demoralise hard working NHS staff so they can push through their cuts and privatisation agenda with minimal resistance.”
Sam Fairbairn, National Secretary of the People’s Assembly, said “The Tories are allowing the NHS to decend into chaos so they can pick apart our health service, sell it off to their mates in big business, and destroy one of our most treasured institutions. They lied when they said the NHS was ‘safe in their hands’ and have continued to lie while doing nothing to address the growing crisis in the NHS. We wont stop until we see the back of this government.”
We must fight to save our NHS from destruction. The threat is real. It is happening now. Hospitals, GPs, mental health, ambulance and community services are on their knees.
Private companies are gaining an ever greater foothold within the NHS. Years of pay restraint has seen the value of NHS staff salaries reduce by 14% since 2010. The government’s Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are a smokescreen for a massive programme of hospital and community service closures, and are its latest instrument for privatisation.
The NHS is one of our greatest achievements. We cannot allow it to be undermined and ultimately destroyed.
Our NHS, fight for it
Our NHS needs you to fight for it. We must march together, sending a clear message to the government – “the NHS will last as long as there are folk with the faith to fight for it.” – See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/events/its-our-nhs-national-demonstration/#sthash.U35NLLv1.dpuf