‘We Won’t Let Chase Farm NHS Close’

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The early morning picket outside Chase Farm Hospital
The early morning picket outside Chase Farm Hospital

HOSPITAL workers, patients and local residents in Enfield yesterday reaffirmed their determination to stop the planned closure of the A&E, Maternity and Paediatrics departments at Chase Farm Hospital.

They welcomed the North-East London Council of Action monthly picket.

North-East London Council of Action Secretary Bill Rogers told News Line: ‘We went on the TUC march on Saturday and it was massive.

‘But there was no real leadership from the unions to fight the savage cuts in all public services.

‘What is required is a general strike to bring this government down and occupations against closures.

‘They are using this hospital as a test case to push through all the cuts and closures in the NHS.

‘We are defending Chase Farm as a fully-funded District General Hospital with all its departments running normally.

‘We don’t want to see any job losses or more ward closures.

‘We want people to come to our meeting on April 5th at St Michael’s Church Hall to plan our next action.

‘We have to be prepared to occupy the moment they name a date for any closure.’

One of the hospital workers, Christiana Eszewa, said: ‘I am against the closure plan. It will be detrimental to patients.

‘We have to stop them and keep this hospital open.’

Colin, an out-patient, added: ‘They’re spending all this money on other things. We’ll be spending money on Portugal soon.

‘There’s money spent on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Ireland, but they don’t spend more here.

‘It only costs one per cent of seven billion to keep this hospital or build a new one, yet they want to cut it. It’s crazy.

‘We need all the health facilities in this area and all the other services, like roadsweeping, because people get asthma through the dust.’