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From: The Socialist issue 1115, 6 January 2021: 3 lockdowns... 20+ U-turns... We can’t trust the Tories… but workers’ action can win on health, safety, jobs and pay!

Search site for keywords: NHS - Public ownership - Pay - Workers - Health - Government - Hospitals - Covid - Healthcare

Protect the NHS

Funding. Pay. PPE. Public ownership

NHS workers protest outside Aintree hospital for a pay rise on 26 August, photo Liverpool SP

NHS workers protest outside Aintree hospital for a pay rise on 26 August, photo Liverpool SP   (Click to enlarge)

The Tory government's plea to "protect the NHS" is rank hypocrisy. The blame for the depth and scale of the unfolding health crisis lies squarely with Johnson's government.

They are responsible for the queues of ambulances outside of A&E and hospital wards bursting at overcapacity and without enough staff. They are responsible for failed test-and-trace and the drive to keep people in the workplace and in schools.

The problem for the Tories is that "protecting the NHS" is at odds with protecting the profits of their big business mates.

The government handed out lucrative contracts to their friends so they could make a profit providing PPE for health workers, and now again there are reports of shortages. All health workers should have access to full PPE, not just those working on Covid wards.

Hospitals are overflowing, but the Nightingale hospitals remain closed - the NHS doesn't have enough staff to open them. There are reports of nurses that are meant to look after just one patient on a ventilator being asked to take responsibility for three. Health workers have been driven from the NHS by Tory-imposed low pay, intolerable workloads, and extortionate training fees.

To truly protect the NHS we need workers' control and public ownership. The socialist party fights for:


"We're running on empty. The pressure on NHS staff is becoming unbearable.

Staff are being moved wards numerous times to cover sickness. New wards are being opened last minute to cope with the pressure. Wards already running on unsafe staffing levels are being stretched to breaking point.

Lots of the media are calling this a Covid crisis. The reality is this is exposing the crisis the NHS has being hurtling towards for years.

Tory and New Labour policies of cuts, closures, and privatisation have come to bite and its frontline staff are facing the repercussions. The need for socialist plan for the NHS is clear."

Matt, NHS Nurse

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 6 January 2021

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