Press release: Activists, nurses and pensioners block road outside Parliament to stop NHS Bill


Activists, nurses and pensioners block road outside Parliament to stop NHS Bill

For immediate release
Tel: 07436 928648
Email: ukuncut@gmail.com

Nurses, pensioners and anti-cuts activists block road opposite Houses of Parliament in daring last bid to block the coalition’s ‘dangerous’ NHS bill.

‘Kill the Bill’ demand protestors as they stand chained together in dramatic act of civil disobedience only metres away from where the Lords debate.

Today, in the minutes before peers gather to begin discussing amendments to the Health and Social Care bill, a group of 15 protesters made up of nurses, pensioners, medical students and anti-cuts campaigners have blocked the road in front of the House of Lords.

At 1.45pm, 15 people walked into the road, 6 of whom have chained and locked themselves together, blocking both lanes of traffic in a daring and disruptive act of civil disobedience in protest against the coalition’s failing Health and Social Care Bill. The protesters donned medical scrubs, doused themselves in fake blood and unfurled bedsheet banners calling for peers to ‘Kill the Bill – Save our NHS’. Aged from 18 to 83, protestors from NHS Direct Action and UK Uncut stood chained together with healthworkers, pensioners, medical students and working and retired nurses, united in their demand that the Health and Social Care Bill – which they say will destroy the NHS – be scrapped entirely.

Campaigners say if passed, in a few years time the NHS will be nothing more than ‘a brand name’, with profit-seeking multinational companies competing to provide most health services and the end universal, equitable health care for all. The bill will see private patients treated at the expense of NHS patients, healthcare workers made redundant and will reduce the priority of treating chronic and complex conditions. Today Lord Crisp former NHS boss declared the bill as being ” a mess ” and “unnecessary” [1]

Nurse Gay Lee said ‘If this Bill goes through, by spring we may be digging a grave for the NHS, a beloved British institution and world class health service which for over 60 years has protected us from birth to death. I’m here today blocking the road because desperate times call for desperate measures. We must kill Lansley’s bill and save our NHS.’

81 year old pensioner Shirley Murgraff [2 ] said ‘Asking this government nicely doesn’t work – they have lied to us over the NHS and refuse to listen to the public time and time again. We are blocking the road to push David Cameron to cut his losses, drop this Bill and invest in our NHS. I remember a pre-NHS Britain. I don’t want to see a post-NHS one.’

UK Uncut supporter and London based health worker Jenny Miller said: ‘The real purpose of this Bill is to create a market in healthcare based on profit not need. All of us will be affected by this unless we are wealthy; this mustn’t be allowed to happen. Thousands of NHS workers are now losing their jobs whilst publicly-owned banks continue to pay out massive bonuses and the government continue to let tax-dodging corporations and the mega-rich off the hook’.

Matt Bryan, medical student said: ‘We all need the NHS. Healthcare should never be provided for profit, I think that is morally wrong. This our message to the Lords – to Lansley – to Cameron.: drop this dangerous, disasterous bill. If he refuses – this proves that this goverment is bad for Britain’s health’.

Notes:

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17169519

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/07/nhs-uk-uncut-protest