THE BMA chairman, James Johnson has quit, forced out of office by the uprising of the junior doctors, who were not prepared to see their futures destroyed by the Blair-Brown government’s drive to privatise the NHS, a cause which Johnson has been defending and providing cover for as BMA chairman.
The battle has only started however, since currently more than 34,000 junior doctors are chasing 18,500 training posts which are due to start in August.
As well, over 100 NHS hospitals face reconfiguration, that is savage cuts of their A&E and Maternity departments, as they are either dismantled or viciously downsized.
This closure programme will means thousands of doctors and nurses losing their jobs, and the NHS being dismantled and transformed into a body run commercially by a board of governors appointed by the Prime Minister to administer health care rationing.
The outgoing BMA chairman favoured this ‘independent control’ of the NHS, which of course the Prime Minister in waiting, Brown, also favours.
The job of the so-called Independent Board will be to try and divert incoming flack from the government as it independently brings in the international health privateers to run the NHS, to ration health care, and to open up the doors for a US insurance based system – so that the rich and their sons and daughters do not die as victims of health rationing.
All NHS workers must follow the example of the junior doctors and force out of office all those NHS union leaders who have stood by and just watched as Blair-Brown worked to demolish the NHS.
Also, BMA members as a whole must join the action.
They must remove and re-elect their entire leadership at the forthcoming annual conference of the BMA, at its Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) on the 25th to the 29th of June in Torquay.
The Annual Representative Meeting must insist that leaders who are not willing to lead action to defend the NHS, and stop the privatisation drive must resign and join Johnson.
In fact the eruption that has seen the junior doctors oust Johnson, will continue and see the entire BMA executive put under the microscope at the ARM.
It will not stop there.
The ARM must also issue a call to the leaderships of the trade unions in the NHS Together coalition to take action to ensure that every junior doctor gets a training post, that no hospital is reconfigured, that every graduate nurse gets a job, and that everybody is entitled to free NHS treatment at the point of need. There can be no mass sackings, no NHS rationing and no NHS privatisation.
There is a great amount of discontent throughout the seven million strong trade union movement at the way the union leaders have refused to fight the government and in particular allowed NHS Logistics to be privatised, after the Labour Party conference voted that it should not be.
Workers in all of the trade unions must follow the example of the Junior Doctors and get rid of all those leaders who will not defend the NHS, stop the hospital closures and stop privatisation.
In fact, the NHS Together coalition must be forced to call industrial action, and defend the NHS by bringing down the Brown government, to bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, including the proper financing of the NHS by driving out the privateers and nationalising the drug companies.
In fact, for the NHS and its doctors, nurses, ancillary staff and patients to have a real future, bankrupt British capitalism must be brought to an end and we must go forward to socialism.
Defending the NHS requires a workers’ government a socialist revolution and the elimination of backward British capitalism.