Event report: Save the NHS March, London - 4 March 2017

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On Saturday 4 March 2017, London branches of the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) attended the People's Assembly March for the NHS, to protest against cuts and privatisation. The event was attended by thousands of people including many doctors, nurses and other NHS staff, who are directly affected by these brutal cuts everyday. We marched in the anti-racist block alongside the group Docs not Cops which fights against racist passport checks of migrants in the NHS.

The RCG contingent focused on showing the link between healthcare services in Britain and Cuba, talking about how socialism allows a relatively poor nation like Cuba to have a health service that out-performs Britain and the US. The British ruling class is partially right when it says that Britain can no longer afford the NHS, as only through socialism can a truly sustainable and open health service for the working class be created.

We also spoke about the role of both the Tory and Labour parties in the dismantlement of the NHS It was the Labour party that first introduced Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) - unsustainable debts that are now crippling the NHS. We must break with it if we are to have any chance of saving the NHS.

We held an open microphone throughout the march. Many non-members came up to share their stories, sing and even read poetry. One man, a mental health worker from York, told us about how their mental health services have been completely destroyed by the closure of a major healthcare centre and cuts to all nearby mental health units. The resulting shortage of available beds means many patients are being sent far away from their homes, family and friends, exacerbating their mental health problems. These cuts, and the terrible effects they have had on peoples lives just show the need for the creation of a mass democratic movement outside of the Labour party to fight for human rights and socialism.

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