Updated: York March to Defend the NHS

On Saturday May 21st, we’ll be teaming up with Defend Our NHS York to organise a march start from York District Hospital into the City Centre. The march will assemble in Clarence Gardens, on the opposite side of Wigginton Road at 12noon and marching to the city centre for a rally. The march route is about 1 mile long and will end with speakers at the Fountain in Parliament Street. Speakers will include representatives of the Royal College of Nurses and the British Medical Association alongside local academic and member of the Lords, Professor the Baroness Haleh Ashar of Heslington.

The current Health Bill proposes a sell off of almost every aspect of the NHS, creating chaos and placing an emphasis on profit from vital treatments. Doctors and clinics will be encouraged to charge for preferential treatment amidst a 37% cut to the NHS budget.

Big private companies will be able to muscle in on the NHS, cherry-pick profitable treatments, offer cut-price work to undercut the NHS, and then raise prices when they have a monopoly in a particular treatment. If the national health budget can’t pay, individuals will be left to fend for themselves – the NHS we trust to take care of us would be no more.

But there’s hope – the government has acknowledged that all is not well by announcing the 3 month “consultation period”, and many Liberal Democrats have spoken out against the proposed changes, including Nick Clegg himself. But if we’re going to “Kill the Bill” we need to act now!

Fliers have gone out to more than 5000 homes and we’ll be spreading the word around health sector staff and inviting people over Facebook, but we know most people come to protests when they’re invited by friends, colleagues and family so please help make this a spectacular and disperser show of opposition to the destruction of an institution almost every British Citizen in some way owes their life to.

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