‘BUSH Hill Park medical practice – reopen now!’ shouted members of a lively picket of the Enfield Primary Care Trust yesterday afternoon.
The picket organised by the North-East London Council of Action called for the PCT to reverse its decision to close the Bush Hill Park practice at short notice on Monday, May 17.
One of the lobbyists, Maureen Giles, from Enfield, told News Line: ‘It’s a disgrace. People need their surgery nearby. They can’t travel miles if they need a doctor quickly or to get a prescription. Having to queue up for prescriptions in the street is a scandal and no way to treat patients.
‘The PCT should reverse its decision and reopen the surgery. This comes at a time the government is trying to make doctors decide where NHS cuts will be made and what treatments they can get. I don’t know how doctors will find the time to do the administrative bit. It looks like they’ll have private companies foisted on them to manage the commissioning. Everything’s about money now.’
Jenny Rogers said: ‘I’m here because I don’t agree with closing a local surgery. It’s awful the way the doctors have been treated, the whole thing has been fabricated, just to destroy the NHS, bit by bit, I think. I might not live in Enfield, but this kind of thing can work like a domino effect.
‘I’m 19 now, by the time I’m 30 the whole of the NHS could be privatised. We can’t let that happen.’
Manikam Kanagarajah told News Line: ‘I’m a patient of Dr Nicolas Pillai at Bush Hill Park surgery.
‘I’m here today because we want to get our surgery reopened. The closure is very inconvenient for me and my wife. Not only the doctors, but all the patients have been treated unfairly. We need justice.’
Another Bush Hill Park patient, Tom, added: ‘It’s ridiculous. So many elderly people use that surgery and they are not happy with what’s happened. We want the PCT to change their decision and reinstate the doctors. But someone is making money out of this. Everything seems to be going private.’
Andrew Keightley added: ‘I’ve come from Luton to protest at the cuts to the NHS. I’m a regular traveller to and through London and I’m concerned about what’s happening to the NHS. It’s wrong to close a doctor’s surgery for no other reason than saving money and pushing privatisation.’
John Field, from the North-East London Council of Action, said: ‘The closure of the Bush Hill Park surgery has made everybody very angry. People are refusing to go to Smyth Close, which is the privately-run Walk-In Centre in Edmonton. We’re here to lobby the PCT to get Bush Hill surgery reopened.
‘We had a well-supported demonstration the other week where real anger was shown against the closure.’