‘BUILD COUNCILS OF ACTION’ – organise general strike to defend the NHS

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A section of the conference listening to the opening speech from BILL ROGERS Secretary of the North East London Council of Action
A section of the conference listening to the opening speech from BILL ROGERS Secretary of the North East London Council of Action

BILL Rogers the secretary of the North East London Council of Action welcomed 100 workers and youth to yesterday’s conference in Enfield to organise the defence of the NHS.

He said: ‘The Tory coalition is now proceeding to force their hated Health and Social Care Act onto the NHS and all its services.

‘The H&SC Act is designed to destroy and privatise the NHS.

‘Chase Farm hospital is a district general hospital and we have been fighting for six years to save it’s A&E, Paediatrics and Maternity departments from closure.

He continued ‘The whole area is determined to keep CFH open and is up for an occupation and we will occupy Chase Farm hospital to stop it closing.’

Rogers added: ‘At Ealing hospital, at St Helier’s hospital and all over the country patients are marching and organising to defend their services.

‘Chase Farm hospital is a DGH and it must be kept open. Every DGH must be kept open.

‘Removing the Accident and Emergency departments, Paediatrics and Maternity, and then Acute Surgery and Trauma, spells the end of the DGH as an integrated whole, with training facilities.’

He continued: ‘The cuts to DGHs are being driven by PFI contracts, worth billions of pounds, and the £20bn of QIPP cuts that are driving hospitals into bankruptcy as is the case of the South London Trust that’s been put into administration.

‘A DoH spokesman said the trust has been put on the “unsustainable providers regime” and the administrator has been tasked with putting it on a viable footing.

‘At least twenty more trusts are said likely to be classed as “unsustainable providers”. Sustainable providers must mean private providers.’

Rogers added: ‘We are concerned at the lack of action by the trade unions such as Unison, Unite and other health service unions to defend the NHS.’

He continued ‘The H&SC Act must be repealed and the coalition defeated.

‘Millions must be brought out to march. On 20th October the TUC have planned a big demonstration this is great but it’s not enough.

‘The only thing that can save the NHS is a general strike that smashes the government.

‘Councils of Action must be set up in every area to organise the masses of the people to occupy hospitals. The Councils of Action must get GPs to continue to refer their patients to the threatened hospitals and ambulance drivers to continue the transport of patients and all unions and staff at the threatened hospital to keep the A&E, Maternity and any department open.

‘Councils of Action must lead workers to force the TUC set the date for a general strike to bring down the coalition and go forwards to a workers government with socialist policies that will keep our NHS open and keep out the privateers.’

A resolution was carried unanimously stating: ‘All over the country we must set up Councils of Action. . . . These Councils of Action must mobilise the masses of people to demand the TUC calls a general strike to bring down this coalition, and go forward to a workers government with socialist policies that will keep our NHS open and keep the privateers out!’