Unions who represent millions of people in the UK are planning to confront the Tories over privatisation of the NHS at this year’s Conservative Party Conference to be held in Manchester on September 29th.
The three biggest unions in the country – Unite, Unison and the GMB – have announced that they will be at the forefront of community protests to highlight the public’s increasing concern at the piecemeal dismantlement of the NHS for the benefit of companies, such as Virgin Care and big US private health provider HCA.
They want to make it clear to the public that this year’s Conference is being bankrolled by the very private healthcare companies that stand to benefit from Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill 2012 and will be demanding an immediate halt to the handing out of contracts to these companies who put shareholders before patients.
In a joint statement calling for the mass rally, the Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis and GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said,
“The people of this country do not want a health service run by the same global boardrooms that have brought misery to every other public service, such as the energy industry, that they have got their hands on.
“We pay for this NHS to be different; to serve the public, and to ward off the twin fears of illness and poverty. There is simply no place in our health service for business to profit from the misfortunes of others. This is the message that will ring around Manchester on 29 September.
“We will be demanding that a future Labour government repeals the act as a top priority – and this should be a warning to potential private companies not to bid for contracts.
This issue will haunt this government all the way to the ballot box in 2015 when voters will see through the false promise that David Cameron made in 2010 that the NHS would be ‘safe’ in Tory hands.”
The unions say that they will work with the Trades Union Congress and its affiliates to ensure the full weight of the trade union movement stands squarely behind this landmark event.
Neither the Tories nor their Liberal-Democrat co-conspirators declared their intention to privatise the NHS in their 2010 general election manifestos a fact that has angered millions who see it as an attack on democracy.
We’ve been promised a referendum on EU membership should any significant treaty changes occur yet NO opportunity whatsoever to vote on the fundamental changes happening to the most important public organisation in Britain, the NHS, on which every man,woman and child in this country relies for their health and well-being.
“We will be demanding that a future Labour government repeals the Act as a top priority – and this should be a warning to potential private companies not to bid for contracts. It’s equally important that Labour isn’t let off the hook either. Much of the demolition programme for the health service started under the last government and has been seized on by the Con-Dems.”
Geoff Martin Pro-NHS campaign Health Emergency chairman also warned Labour to take the issue seriously and not simply resort to playing political games,
“Grandstanding on the back of public outrage at the attack on the NHS would be pure political opportunism” he said.
Lets make it one he’ll never forget!