‘FIGHTING NHS PRIVATISATION’ – Chase Farm Hospital picket

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A section of the lively North East London Council of Action picket of Chase Farm Hospital yesterday morning
A section of the lively North East London Council of Action picket of Chase Farm Hospital yesterday morning

SUPPORT for occupation was rock solid at the monthly North-East London Council of Action picket of Chase Farm Hospital, which was joined by over 50 people throughout the day.

Diana Antwi, a nurse at Chase Farm and RCN member, said: ‘It’s a really bad idea to discontinue the A&E and Maternity at Chase Farm.

‘This is going to be a huge burden on Barnet and North Middlesex Hospitals.

‘If at the point of closure the local people and doctors and nurses think that they can cope with going into the hospital and keeping it running themselves, then that would be a good idea and I wouldn’t mind to join and help in any way I can.’~

Sheila Nellis, a local resident and part of the North-East London Council of Action, joined the picket.

She said: ‘It’s quite obvious that they intend to close Chase Farm Hospital as they have done no renovation and all the paint is peeling, and from the outside parts of the hospital look derelict.

‘It’s a clear indication that it’s not just three departments they intend to close, but the whole hospital.

‘I have been on all the marches, signed the petitions, I have even canvassed the houses and got almost 400 signatures myself.

‘If necessary, we have to take action above and beyond protests. I would support an occupation.

‘If Chase Farm closes, it would be a tragedy and it would cost lives and that is it in a nutshell.’

Lots of Young Socialists members joined the picket.

Julian Gordon, a member of the Newham Young Socialists, told News Line: ‘We have been stopping cars and giving out leaflets to encourage people to come to our meeting and to discuss a plan of action to keep the hospital open.

‘The reason why the Young Socialists have joined the picket is it is very important to us as many young people need to use a hospital and it is the nearest one they can get to.’

Bill Rogers, secretary of the North-East London Council of Action, said: ‘Everyone I’ve spoken to so far is really peeved off with this witch-hunt against the NHS over in the US by the Republicans.

‘People are determined to fight against the privatisation of the health service in this country and they will answer these American slanders and the cuts in the services from this government with the occupation of Chase Farm Hospital to defend its services.’