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999 Call for the NHS

A grassroots NHS campaign. Not affiliated to any of the political parties.

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By 999 Call for the NHS, Jan 5 2016 08:23AM




Having promised myself that 2016 I would find some balance in my life when every waking moment wasn't filled with dread about losing the NHS to a bunch of nasty vicious greedy corporations, about why the public isn't in the streets screaming for justice, why our political system is a mess... you know the sort of casual stuff that floats round your head... and what am I doing? Sitting at my bloody desk answering emails, Facebook messages and writing a bloody blog at 6am in the morning! FFS! (modern acronyms dont ya love em!)


There is something in the water though. I notice there's a whole gang of us online. Who posts things on Facebook at 6am!!! Idiots who are fighting for the NHS that's who. Fighting because they've seen the awful betrayal by our political system - MPs, local councillors, Dept. of Health and Jeremy Hunt, NHS England itself - steamrolling ahead with an agenda of of privatisation that the general public have not agreed to, not been informed about and are only just beginning to realise is well underway.


This weekend is the Nurses, next week the Doctors. But we mustn't let them fight alone. They should not be divided. It's the same fight to stop the destruction of our NHS. 999 has always said we support all levels of the NHS, every skill level is important and vital to the public service we have lived with for 68yrs. A public service we must see brought back into public hands.


It has never been a perfect institution. No campaigner would ever state that was the case. It has moved with the times, the shape and nature of our society, the ever-changing political pressures and ideals and has been faced with attacks from all manner of organisations and individuals who are opposed to the idea of a public health system that does not make a profit for shareholders (I mean what would be the point of that?)


One argument and attitude we've come across time and time again is


"oh you want to go back to the 70's?"

"you can't live in the past you know, got to look forward"

"the world has changed since 1948"


Yes it has. Corporations have taken control not only of our physical economic assets but our political and cultural assets too.


They've managed to convince the world that private companies will be better at running countries than democratic governments. Akin to much of the current business world propaganda that is now spouted by (American again) modern motivational business trainers - They want us "live in the now" and keep looking to the future with no reference to the past.


(WARNING: vomit inducing - http://www.talkbusinesswithhoward.com/business/live-in-the-now-not-in-the-past-for-business-success/ )


So... Don't look back, think about the future. Well that needs changing. We can and should look back to learn and realise where we went wrong. 1948 - amidst the rubble of World War II, the fierce opposition of a dying upper class Tory party - if a group of (some would say mad) visionaries like Bevan and the MPs who supported him could build something as profound and honest as the National Health Service then we in 2016 can rescue it, rebuild it and renationalise it.


Looking back and discovering what that group of idiots in 1948 set out to do - create a fairer, more equal, better society. http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/nhs/


We can reclaim and rebuild it with that agenda in mind. Not profit. Not greed. Not health insurance. Looking back to those incredible high values and implementing them for the world ahead, the future of our kids and grandkids. The NHS can take full advantage of the hi-tech innovations, the digital universe but it must not sacrifice A&E wards, maternity wards, mental halth beds in place of phone apps. Above all it must not lose it's fundamental core value - a national public service owned, managed and funded by the nation for all our general safety, health and wellbeing.


We're going Beyond Bevan.


By 999 Call for the NHS, Dec 5 2014 07:14PM

Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust
Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust

The NHS is being held hostage by private financiers as a result of signing up to massive debts through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Through PFIs, many NHS hospitals have entered into long-term agreements with investment companies to finance the building and maintenance of hospitals. These hospitals are then leased back to the NHS Trusts at excessive repayment rates.



PFIs are being used for a range of public sector projects but the Department of Health has agreed the largest number – currently 118 with a capital value of £11.6bn. Over time, the sum total of repayments will be £79.1bn. According to one calculation, two hospitals could have been built for the cost of just one, had public sources of finance been used.



The largest NHS PFI project is the building of the new Royal London Hospital at the initial cost of £1.1bn, which is estimated to cost over the time repayment period of 43 years £7.4bn. In the case of Royal London Hospital it could have been as little as £4.1 billion over the same payment period.


The use of PFI for the building and maintenance of healthcare facilities involves excessive interest rates and inflated service charges. It is crippling the NHS and leading to cuts in services, loss of staff and the selling off of assets. Funds are sucked from hospital budgets and into the pockets of City investors, many of whom are registered in tax havens. PFI has become a major lever in the process of privatisation of the NHS.


In October 2013 a group of health campaigners formed Drop the NHS Debt to start a campaign on the scandal of PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts in the health service. We have put together a website directed specifically at health campaigners across the country providing lay summaries of the way PFI works, possible ways of reversing PFI, and a ‘toolkit’ enabling ordinary campaigners to find out the extent and nature of profiteering through PFI contracts at their local hospital. In turn this information would form the basis of local campaigns against PFIs and we suggest a possible leaflet for campaigners to use.


Our website is still developing but we feel there is enough there to launch it. Please go to:

www.dropnhsdebt.org.uk


We would welcome any support and feedback you can give and we hope you feel able to reference our website from yours. Please do also announce the website to your contacts and local group via your website or email.


If you have any queries please contact the website directly at [email protected]

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