• 18,000 hospital beds in the 1980s only 12,000 today despite a 25% increase in population.
• 25% fewer doctors, 75% fewer specialists, and much less facilities than other European countries.
• This government still only spends 90% of the average of the original EU 15 states on health. The health crisis is caused by a lack of resources.
• Government privatisation is giving massive tax breaks to beef baron Larry Goodman and his ilk, so they can turn healthcare into a money making racket.
• Private healthcare costs more but offers only very limited treatments. Healthcare must be provided on the basis of people’s needs – not for profit.
Socialist Party says – Invest the wealth in people’s health:
• For massive current and capital investment in health as the only way to develop the capacity and facilities necessary to resolve the health crisis.
• To overcome the two-tier, discriminatory health system, completely separate public healthcare from private practice, medicine and control.
• For free and prompt healthcare for all in a fully resourced, publicly owned and controlled National Health Service.
• Full support for the nurses. Pay the wage claim and implement the 35-hour week.
The immediate crisis
• Solve the crisis at A&E and the knock on cancellation of procedures, by increasing hospital facilities and acute bed numbers. Immediately free up hospital beds by reopening and staffing existing but unused long-stay facilities
• Abolish waiting lists for treatment by increasing public hospital capacity by direct investment in more and better facilities. Scrap the National Treatment Purchase Fund which offers only limited procedures and boosts for profit medicine.
• Provide the resources in the community, including proper payment for carers, so wherever possible, the elderly can be looked after at home. For the state to provide comprehensive, quality nursing home care for all who need it.
• Scrap GP charges and expensive prescriptions.
• For free primary healthcare in fully equipped centres in all communities including after hours services, with teams of GPs, chemists, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers.
• End the disgraceful failure to provide the necessary healthcare for people with mental illness. For investment to make sure full and proper mental healthcare is available for all who need throughout the country.
• For major information and educational campaigns in all communities, schools and workplaces on preventative healthcare, healthy living, exercise, drugs, alcohol and diet.
Organise quality, free and democratically controlled public healthcare
• A free publicly owned high quality National Health Service properly funded through a progressive tax system, to provide prompt healthcare so that people have no need for health insurance.
• End hospital budgeting policies that restrict public health services.
• No to privatisation or subsidies to private health and end all Public Private Partnerships including the plan for limited care private hospitals besides public hospitals.
• Ensure care is provided to those who need it most, end administrator and consultant prioritisation of private care in public hospitals. Consultants employed in the public sector should only be entitled to do public work.
• End the privileged access to medicine so more people with the capabilities can train to become doctors. Decent wages and conditions for all health workers, particularly nurses, as the only way of overcoming shortages in staff.
• End the rip-off and control of the drugs multi-nationals. Establish a state owned pharmaceutical company to supply the drugs and medicines that people need.
• Break the grip of private practice and profit on public health. For democratically controlled public healthcare run through boards with a majority of representatives from health workers and the public who use the service.