Our friend Jolyon Rubinstein recently gave a speech at a #SaveOurNHS event in support of junior doctors, who face harsh new contracts imposed by the Tory government, changes of which could lead to overworked staff, haphazard patient care and a total breakdown in the NHS. Jolyon here elaborates on his speech...
Jeremy Hunt loves the NHS. He loves it so much that he wants to cut it up into little pieces and sell it off to all of his friends.
The NHS has been declared the world's best healthcare system by Commonwealth Fund, a well-respected Washington-based foundation which analyses the performance of different countries's health systems. According to them, "The United Kingdom ranks first overall, scoring highest on quality, access and efficiency."
Hunt too has performed an incredible achievement: to have become even less popular than Andrew Lansley in half the time. But let's not forget that this is the man who wanted to let BSkyB complete their takeover before the phone hacking scandal broke.
So just who is Jeremy Hunt and what are his intentions for such a successful health service? In 2005 he co-authored a book called Direct Democracy. On page 78, Hunt writes "Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain."
And how does Hunt plan to do this? The Tories want to increase the service to 7 days a week of routine care, without any extra funding. Surely this seems like madness; but it's not. Jeremy Hunt is a very clever man, an Oxford graduate no less.
The standard technique of privatisation is to defund, make sure things don't work. People get angry and then you hand it over to private capital.
I encourage you all to watch Dr Lauren Gavaghan's blistering speech on James O'Brien's show, a viral hit with over 750,000 people watching it.
In it, she said: "This is not about just junior doctors. In my opinion, this is about a much wider political picture... With the Health and Social Care Act, the NHS was actually devolved. The government was devolved of responsibility for it... What the government are trying to do with this whole bringing care to weekends is not to increase emergency care, because of course we do that already. What they are trying to do is introduce elective non-urgent clinics into weekends... Let's face the facts. When the NHS is being sold off, private companies do not want our complex, long-term physical or mental health patients."
When it’s you in the ambulance, going through A&E and then onto the ward, you see that the NHS is the crowning achievement of our nation. Words like 'austerity', 'targets' and 'PFI' seem so utterly meaningless when you have a doctor trying to keep your airway clear by aspirating the pus out of your abcessed tonsil.
I thank you all for your tireless, selfless work. You choose social capital and improving people's lives instead of making heaps of private capital. You are not driven by the profit motive- and that's why they will never ever understand you.
Just like Nelson Mandela said: 'It always seems impossible until it is done.'