NHS and health

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Sacha Ismail and Gemma Short

Over two hundred outsourced workers who are members of the GMB at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London struck for 48 hours on 24-26 November.

On the 24th the workers, who are employed by Dutch multinational ISS as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters, struck alongside directly employed NHS staff striking for their national pay dispute.

Woolwich Hospital cleaners walk out; Care UK strikers agree to pay deal; strikes to defend victimised NUT rep suspended.

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Health strike gains momentum

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health workers struck for a second 4-hour block on Monday 24 November.

Although the strike may not be the most militant on record, there is some evidence that the NHS pay dispute is gaining momentum and the unions are turning up new activists.

Despite painfully timid leadership, the dispute has become a rallying point for health workers concerned about NHS cuts and privatisation.

If it is going to grow and be successful then those new activists need to turn outwards and convince the large numbers of strikebreakers to join us and create a renewed union movement.

Health workers struck for a second 4-hour block on Monday 24 November.

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NHS: we need more than Efford

Author: 

Jill Mountford

Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill on the NHS got through its second reading in Parliament on 21 November with 241 votes in favour and just 18 against.

It was a good though unexpected result, though nothing for the government to get worried about. There’s not enough time for the Bill to go too far before the general election next May.

The Bill gives an opportunity to have discussion and debate about what changes are needed to restore the NHS; and maybe to get a sneak preview of what Labour has in mind for the NHS.

Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill on the NHS got through its second reading in Parliament on 21 November with 241 votes in favour and just 18 against.

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Health workers to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

If we do not win a decent pay settlement and build a union movement capable of defending our already much degraded terms and conditions, then we will have helped speed on the end of the NHS as a free state-of-the art health service.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion.

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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The socialist answer to UKIP

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Editorial

Tory defector Douglas Carswell became UKIP’s first elected MP on 9 October, and another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, may win on 20 November in Rochester and Strood. We examine UKIP’s manifesto.

UKIP: “Migrants are a drain on UK resources, including benefits and NHS”

A socialist response to UKIP's mainfesto.

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Labour's NHS Bill: not good enough

Author: 

Jill Mountford, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, personal capacity.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

Was it worth waiting for? With the political limits of the Labour Party and the practical limits of what a Private Members Bill can achieve it was never going to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act , nor reverse the cuts and privatisation of the NHS. But the Bill does tackle some of the worst bits of the Health and Social Care Act.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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NHS staff to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion. Last month the new Chief Executive of the NHS Simon Stevens made a spurious claim that with an extra £8 billion investment he could redesign the service and make £22 billion savings by 2020.

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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How to be more assertive in politics

Author: 

Lawrence Welch

If workers in the NHS (the area I work in) were able to get more insight into how we all respond to “authority” they would be better able to rely on their own skills and knowledge and be more assertive about resisting the current reforms.

My argument (which could be extended to other workers) is that in order to do this it is vital we extend Marx’s micro analysis of the relationship between the worker and the capitalist in the light of advances in psychological theories and therapies.

The commercialisation and privatisation of the National Health Service at the global political level or in local workplace settings triggers feelings of despair and hopelessness, undermining the vital task of building ways of defending a hugely important service.

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Outsourced workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital strike for equal pay and rights

On 8 October, outsourced workers – cleaners, caterers, switchboard workers, seamstresses, porters and others – employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London, struck for the same pay and conditions as directly employed workers.

On 8 October, outsourced workers – cleaners, caterers, switchboard workers, seamstresses, porters and others – employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London, struck for the same pay and conditions as directly employed workers.

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