Swansea needs councillors who vote against cuts! No to austerity - vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Don’t waste the opportunity to send a clear ‘no more cuts’ message by voting for Ronnie Job, TUSC: the only no-cuts, socialist candidate in Swansea West in the 2015 General Election!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Further on the NHS and TTIP

In response to questions from potential voters:

The Health and Social Care Act is enormously destructive for the NHS in England with its massive extension of privatisation and market principles In Health Care. But in many ways, the Con-Dems were just building on the direction of the last Labour Government, which oversaw an increase in the pace of privatisation of health care and particularly saddled the NHS with huge debts for decades to come, through PFI schemes. Labour has promised to repeal the Health and Social Care Act if it forms the next government but it has not promised to reverse privatisation. Indeed the proposal by Labour to introduce a "profit-cap" shows they see a continuing expanded role for private providers in our NHS.

The NHS in Wales has not suffered so much from privatisation as England; the Health and Social Care Act does not apply here and there have been no new PFI schemes in the NHS for some time. However I still believe that the NHS in Wales has been let down by the Welsh Government, which has passed on cuts to health care under the Con-Dems and under the previous Labour Government. These cuts have had serious consequences in missed targets for care in a number of areas, including ambulance response times and some areas of cancer care. That is not in any way a criticism of the dedicated and professional staff working in the NHS; something I am well aware of being married to a palliative care nurse, now lecturer in nursing. NHS workers' efforts are undermined by cuts in resources and their morale is sapped by the downward pressure on their terms and conditions.

The NHS in Wales is not exempt from the affects of privatisation in any case. There is, quite rightly, an increasing understanding of the link between health and social care and the need to integrate the two. The outsourcing of social services across Wales by councils, including the half of all Welsh councils led by Labour, has had negative consequences for health care and is a barrier to cooperation.

TTIP is a threat to public services, particularly health services. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would expose the NHS in Wales, just as much as England, to the threat of accelerated privatisation.

TUSC campaigns against all profiting from health care. We support the principles that Bevan outlined for healthcare..
• that is should be free at the point of delivery
• that it should be accessible to all
• that decisions should be made only on the basis of clinical need and not cost

To achieve that means to resist TTIP, not only be elected representatives consistently voting against it but by campaigning amongst patients, health workers and the public generally to inform them of the dangers and support all actions taken against it. At our 2015 Conference we agreed to include opposition to TTIP in our central platform for this election, "No to TTIP and all secret austerity treaties".

We want to reverse all privatisation of health care that had already taken place, ending the PFI schemes that leech off our NHS.

We would be in favour of bringing the giant multinational drug companies that make up "big pharma" into public ownership to make them democratically accountable and to end their ability to hold the NHS to ransom. They charge the NHS what they like regardless of production costs, for treatments, which are often developed in publicly funded institutions like universities. The result is that treatment may be decided by cost rather than the patient's need.

We think that that the NHS should be extended to include, for example dental care.

You can find out more about TUSC, our election platform and what we stand for on the national website: www.tusc.org.uk

Please get in touch if you agree with our programme and would like to help in our campaign.

Ronnie Job, TUSC candidate, Swansea West

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