- Created: Sunday, 29 May 2011 21:05
- Written by FRFI
On Saturday 28 May, Angel, north London, was the site of a drop-in surgery for people worried about the bad effects of the cuts on their health. This event was called by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! as part of the UK Uncut day of action to save the NHS, which saw banks throughout the country occupied and turned into hospitals.
Protestors dressed as doctors, nurses and patients set up their cuts consultation inside the Angel branch of RBS, recipient of £45 billion of bail out money – 40% of the annual NHS budget!
The patients’ recovery was assisted by ukulele players and energetic speeches, making sure that the public understood why we were there.
The banks got bailed out, and now we are being sold out. Hospitals are making swingeing cuts and the health and social care bill is about to abolish the duty of the secretary of state for health to ensure health provision for everyone.
We are being told we have to swallow this bad medicine because of the national debt. However, as one of the speakers pointed out, the national debt in post-war Britain, when the NHS was set up, was greater than it is now.
Speakers also talked about Private Finance Initiatives and the debt that hospitals are in due to the 30-60 year contracts that they have signed, which will see them paying many times over the costs of the initial investments from private firms.
The condition of the patients in the bank got worse as they heard this depressing news, however, they perked up immensely when one of the nurses took to the megaphone and talked about Cuba and their incredible achievements in health and education: their low infant mortality, their high doctor to patient ratio and their health internationalism. In fact, during the most difficult economic times of the Special Period in the 1990s, Cuba increased their health coverage, increased the numbers of doctors and nurses and didn't shut down a single health clinic, service or hospital.
The security staff and tellers in RBS seemed receptive to our words - clearly they aren't the ones getting the bonuses.
Now is the time to collectively make our voices heard and this event, along with all the other banks occupied on the day, was a very good start.
UK Uncut website: