On 21 August the 999 Call for the NHS marchers arrived in Harrogate on their way to London. They were made very welcome at St Peters Church with a meal and after dinner speakers.
Trish spoke on behalf of the marchers, followed by Lindis Percy, a former midwife, Shan Oakes for the Green Party, and Dr Richard Turner. The writer and Yorkshire celebrity Alan Bennett sent a message of support as he would like to have attended in person but was unable to.
Messages from the meeting were:
Wake up Yorkshire and Harrogate! Do you know what’s happening? Do you really want your health service to be market driven: run on the profit motive? We need to be able to trust our health providers to be doing the best for us and not acting on behalf of vested interests. Local salaried doctors are known and accountable in the community whereas private doctors are making money based on how many patients they treat and other hidden factors and are far less accountable. In fact their mistakes have to be sorted out by the NHS. We need to know what’s motivating the person who is deciding our fate. We want professional standards – not a market based system. In a national system there is collaboration to meet a patient’s needs which is lacking when the service is fragmented and providers are competing for profitable business. Even in rare, difficult or chronic cases the NHS offers unlimited liability; it offers assurance as opposed to insurance. Americans and others are highly envious of our NHS – so why are we selling it off? Yes – the public wants their NHS to remain public – but our current political masters (all 3 main parties) have an ideological love affair with privatisation.
It was recommended from the floor that people watch the films ‘Sicko’ (Michael Moore) and ‘The Spirit of 45’ (Ken Loach)which deal with these issues.
If you dont agree with selling off the NHS join and /or publicise the march – see website http://999callfornhs.org.uk/harrogate/4585651450 – and/or sign the petitions http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/Protect_our_NHS_Petition#petition and write to your MP