Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman is supporting our NHS
- Credit: Archant
As the vote for Scottish independence approaches the debate is shifting to how best to protect the future of the NHS. Scottish nationalists claim creeping privatisation is rapidly eroding the very principle of free medical care on demand and say the future of the NHS is not safe with Westminster.
Labour politicians claim this is scaremongering, but are defensive; it was Labour’s actions during the Blair years that opened the door to the Tory privatisation they are now opposing.
The fact is that the NHS as we know it is under threat.
In the past two years £11bn worth of our NHS has been put up for sale, staff and services have been axed and waiting lists are growing.
We know about the threat facing the NHS only too well in Tower Hamlets: at present five GP surgeries are facing bankruptcy due to government plans to axe funding.
Overall 22 surgeries in similarly deprived areas such as Hackney and Newham are also under threat.
If the government are successful they will open the door for more GP surgeries to be run by large private firms on the cheap.
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Local opposition is strong.
The Save Our Surgeries campaign recently handed in a 16,000 strong petition to Downing Street. One local disabled resident, Danny Currie, has taken action into his own hands.
Danny has launched a High Court legal bid against the Department of Health claiming it breached its duties by threatening the future of the GP surgery at Jubilee Street which has looked after his health needs for over 30 years.
If Danny’s legal bid is successful, it will be a victory for all in Tower Hamlets.
In Scotland, the NHS is now at the centre of the political stage. We need the same to happen in England. More from Lutfur Rahman