No one likes to hear about funding cuts to public services, especially when they concern NHS cut-backs. This is why the Government continue to maintain that they are increasing health care funding year on year. Facts on the ground however — far away from the penthouse suites inhabited by the capitalist class — demonstrate the opposite to be the case.
Last Parliament £15 billion was swiped from the NHS’s budget, while current plans suggest the theft of another £22 billion by 2020. The Government disguise this daylight robbery with their nice-sounding “Sustainability and Transformation Plans” – nefarious plans if ever there were any, which can be blocked locally by Labour Councils (like Leicester’s) if our councillors ever felt the inclination!
As part of these colossal cuts, NHS England are presently in the process of “consulting” on the future of congenital heart services across the country. NHS England claim that their proposed cuts are an attempt to improve standard. How nice, but how ridiculous.
Tonight’s consultation event at the Tiger’s Stadium was packed-out and angry; and even as the meeting began the protest outside continued — highlighting the inequity caused by the booking of venue that was way too small to host all the local campaigners who are determined to prevent the closure of Glenfield Heart Unit.
The audience at tonight’s heated meeting therefore seized this limited opportunity to bombard NHS England’s officials with question after question, which, for the most part were answered unsatisfactorily. At points during this emotional rollercoaster of a meeting, the audience united in shouting down the illogical arguments offered up by their cowardly hosts.
Sticking to the party line: NHS England were adamant that their proposed closures were not about funding cuts. But their own consultation document is clear: “You will already know that money is tight in the NHS, and the NHS has to live within its means…”
Of course, the primary reason why we have to live within limited means with ever-limited funding is because our Government plans to Slash, Trash and Privatise our NHS! This was made abundantly clear in the early hours of this morning, when I heard on the radio (when I first awoke) that George Osborne was now being paid £650,000 a year for working just four days a month at one of the world’s largest fund managers, BlackRock – a fat-cat conglomerate which itself happens to turn a hand profit from the ongoing dismantling and privatisation of our NHS!
Leicester will never let “our” Government close Glenfield Heart Unit, certainly that much was made clear at tonight’s meeting by both the public and by Labour’s Deputy City Mayor Rory Palmer. But while the public also oppose the ongoing destruction of all aspects of our NHS, it remains unclear whether Rory Palmer aims to use the power invested in our local Council to oppose all the Government’s ongoing attacks on the NHS by blocking the Tories so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans.