‘WE ARE going to win this battle and we will keep our hospital here forever!’ Kaushalya Gussar declared on Friday’s mass picket of Ealing Hospital to stop the closure of the A&E, the Children’s Department and to demand the re-opening of the Maternity Department.
Daniella Dzurova, a nurse in the RCN union coming off her night shift, said: ‘The other nearest hospital, Hammersmith is already full up and there is no A&E there, it has already been closed down. As a nurse I work 12-hour shifts. We need more staff, more equipment and more wages, especially for nights and weekends.
‘This is why junior doctors are striking. If they take away the junior doctors anti-social hours payments they will come for us next. We need to try our best to support our lives and the lives of others and that means that we need to strike!’
The West London Council of Action have organised a daily picket of the hospital, from 7am till 9am, every single morning since last August. On the last Friday of every month, a mass picket is organised.
Kaushalya Gussar continued: ‘We want the Maternity Department re-opened and we will not let them close down our A&E. This is a local hospital for everyone who lives here in Ealing and in Southall as well. The whole town relies on Ealing Hospital. The health workers, junior doctors and nurses must take action now, they must strike!’ Pickets shouted: ‘Defend Ealing Hospital! Re-open Maternity!’ and ‘Victory to the junior doctors! Call a general strike!’
Medical Student and BMA member, Aaron Brown, working at Ealing Hospital, told News Line: ‘It is the wrong course of action to close down Accident and Emergency Departments. We see more and more need for A&Es, attendance is going up, it is harder to get GP appointments so patients end up coming to A&E.
‘It is not just a problem in west London, this is the case all over the country. The best plan that the government can come up with to reduce costs is to close down A&Es. At the end of the day, as a result, the ones who are really suffering are the patients. I am also against the government’s attempts to impose a contract on the junior doctors.
‘The new contracts are the most ridiculous central proposal I have ever heard of. I do not know why you would offer an already overstretched workforce less pay to work more hours and expect to get away with it. This contract must not come into effect. I support a junior doctors’ strike. They are striking for our generation.’