Defend Whittington Hospital! We want our NHS back!

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16 March 2013 – RCG supporters joined up to 5,000 people marching against the proposed sell off at Whittington Hospital in Archway, North London. The march started at Highbury corner and closed-off the busy Holloway Road as it made its way up to the hospital at Archway.

The board of Whittington hospital has announced plans to sell off hospital land and to cut the number of beds by up to 50%, to as few as 177. This is on top of planned redundancies, as yet undetermined, that are hanging over the staff there. The board has announced that it wants the hospital to become a Foundation Trust and these sell offs and ‘economies’ are part of its bid for this. Whittington hospital actually has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country, a good nurse to patient ratio and a bed-occupancy rate of 97%. We say the hospital services should be kept at their current level with adequate provisions from the state, instead of trying to sell off buildings and land in order to make up for the shortfall.

RCG North London branch is holding a public meeting on Monday 18 March to discuss how we can stop the sell off at the Whittington. This will involve understanding the sell off in the context of a widescale attack on living standards and public services, launched in order to deal with the capitalist crisis. It also needs recognition of the disgraceful role of the Labour Party, which is positioning itself as an anti-cuts alternative to the ConDems, when in fact it has no programme to reverse the creeping privatisation that began under its watch. Not least of Labour’s crimes was the introduction of Public Finance Initiatives (PFI) in the NHS, which means many hospitals are now paying millions of pounds of interest each year to parasitic banks. This is why we say that one of the slogans of the movement to save the NHS must be: Drop the PFI debt!

The public meeting is at 7pm on Monday 18 March, upstairs at the Oak and Pastor Pub, 86 Junction Road, London N19 5QZ. Nearest tubes: Tufnel Park or Archway. All welcome.