LETTER: Speak up for the future of NHS

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Your letters

In the County Times, GP Simon Dean urged patients to engage with the launch of the ‘Five Communities Plan’ and the campaign to let residents have their say on the future of NHS care in our local area .

Horsham Labour Party also encourages everyone to find out as much as possible about the changes that are being made to the NHS at a local and national level.

If you are interested in ensuring that the National Health Service remains in the form that we all recognise and from which we can all benefit, at the point of need and regardless of our means, we need to make our voices heard.

There is no doubt that current Tory plans will change the NHS beyond all recognition. The concern amongst health professionals about these changes has been widely reported in the press, yet Health Service users are largely unaware of what is actually taking place.

There is a possibility that they will only become fully aware of the negative impact of these plans once it is too late to do anything about it.

Everyone recognises that there is room for improvement in the NHS, as there is in any large organisation and periodic reviews should be welcomed by service users .

However, Dr Mark Porter, chair of council for the British Medical Association, described the Tory’s actions as serving the NHS up to ‘armies of lawyers and accountants from the private healthcare industry’. He went on to say that the government had launched ‘a double- pronged attack on the health service, driven by privatisation and cuts to services’.

The government justify their actions in increasingly opening up the NHS to private providers by claiming that the NHS is inefficient in its present form. They fail to mention anything, however, about the chronic lack of government investment which has created a financial black hole of £2 billion in the NHS budget and which is currently putting the service under massive strain.

The impact of these cuts is increasingly being seen by service users. We are finding it harder to get a GP appointment when needed, there is a crisis in A&E and huge pressure on other services as a result of cuts in nursing and frontline staff.

It is clear that the Tory government is more interested in serving the interests of the private companies lining up to make massive profits from our health needs, than it is in investing in our National Health Service.

An interest that was clearly reflected in the now abandoned plans of our own MP Francis Maude, with his proposal for a private hospital for the benefit of those in his constituency who could afford it, if only he could have persuaded the private sector that enough money could have been made from the plan.

So we urge your readers to join our campaign to save the NHS. Be alert to the proposals that are being made and make your views known when you have the chance. The public meeting launching the Five Communities Plan will take place in the Drill Hall in Denne Road, Horsham, on Thursday 31 July from 5.30 to 9pm.

RAY CHAPMAN

Secretary, Horsham Labour Party, Pondtail Road, Horsham