Workers rise up – Stop the closure of Ealing Maternity Unit!

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ON MAY 7 Labour won the Ealing Central and Acton seat from the Tories, with Rupa Huq getting 22,002 votes, a massive 13% increase in the Labour vote.

Huq got her seat because of the desire and the determination of workers locally to defend Ealing hospital, and especially to keep its much-needed and valued maternity unit open.

Now, with the election out of the way, the Cameron government is set to try to trample over workers in Ealing and close the Maternity Unit on July 1, 2015, regardless of the requirements and needs of the local population.

This attempt at closure must be stopped, and Labour MPs in the Ealing and West London area, who won or retained their seats thanks to the determination of workers to defend the NHS, have an absolute duty to take every action that is necessary to keep Ealing Hospital’s maternity unit open and fully functioning.

The local trade unions must also step into the breach and come into the fight. In fact, there must be strike actions by local trade unions to demand and insist the hospital be kept fully open.

As well, a Council of Action must be organised by the trade unions, MPs, workers and youth to mobilise the masses to keep the the Maternity Unit open, with a permanent occupation.

In fact, the entire West London area is a battle ground with the government, and its agencies who are cutting and closing hospital units and whole hospitals to balance the books of bankrupt British capitalism, sacrificing the health care of millions.

Under the cynically named ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plan, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex A&E’s were closed on September 10th 2014. Charing Cross Hospital is now being terminated as a major acute hospital and is to be a local hospital dealing with day surgery and outpatients only.

Major emergency services, including a stroke unit and acute surgery, have been finished with. Charing Cross Hospital is to be demolished, with 55% of the land to be sold to private developers.

The Western Eye Hospital is to be closed and the site sold, and 45% of the St Mary’s Paddington site is being sold to developers. Under the ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plan, the number of private patients is to be doubled over the next five years.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that in 2013/14 and 2014/15 a horde of private consultants including M&C Saatchi Group and McKinsey & Company were handed £33 million to plan the destruction of the local NHS i.e. the ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ for big business.

The working class must now intervene to put an end to this vandalism with strike actions to stop the closures.

At Ealing Hospital yesterday morning, midwives, nurses and other workers told News Line that they want trade union action to stop the closure of the Maternity Department and they will support an occupation.

A glimpse of the future under Cameron was seen last week, when the NHS crisis in London hospitals saw women in labour transferred up to 10 miles away to give birth. Four of the capital’s busiest emergency departments were put under emergency closure. Two of the women had to be transferred to Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit – this is now to be closed on July1.

Childbirth is becoming a very dangerous business under ‘Shaping a Healther Future’. The working class must now intervene to put an end to this organised vandalising of the NHS.

Into Action! Defend the Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit. Stop all the cuts and closures!

Ealing Maternity Unit must be kept open through a trade union-organised campaign and occupation to prevent closure. This will serve notice on the Tories and their allies that the working class will never allow them to smash the NHS, but will replace the bankrupt capitalist system with socialism, through the organisation of a socialist revolution that will keep free health care at the point of need for ever.