We are promoting the following motion to put forward in branch and constituency Labour Parties.
If you have already passed similar policy, please feel free to use parts of it selectively. Also, if you think the motion is too long, we recommend submitting the text from “Believes” on, and using the “Notes” as background.
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Labour must act now to save the NHS from privatisation, and campaign for a publicly owned, run and provided health service
We note that
• The NHS is being cut back, dismantled and privatised with increasing speed, providing fewer and fewer services and increasingly functioning as a logo for private contractors – with ever more cash channelled into marketplace administrative costs and private profit.
• The BMA, Unite and NHS campaigns support the NHS (Reinstatement) Bill as a first step in stopping this onslaught.
• That some Labour MPs, including the current health front bench, have failed to support the Bill, staying silent or arguing against “further top-down reorganisation”. The Tories talked it out in March with little opposition.
• The NHS is constantly being reorganised by the Tories’ demolition-drive – most recently through the disastrous, pro-privatisation “Five Year Forward View” plan, through fragmentation and privatisation-driving “health devolution”, and from June through the “Sustainability and Transformation Plans”, which involve enforcing huge cuts.
We believe that
• To the fatal, accelerating reorganisations currently being imposed on the NHS, Labour should counterpose a life-saving reorganisation, in alliance with health workers, to reinstate a genuine public health service. Essential to this is explicit and active support for the junior doctors’, student NHS bursary and other health workers’ struggles.
We call on the party nationally to
1. Urgently expose and fight to reverse the ongoing dismantling of the NHS through privatisation/outsourcing, marketisation, fragmentation, closures, and cuts to funding and provision – campaigning nationally, mobilising local parties and working with national and local campaigns.
2. Commit to renationalise the NHS and build a top-quality public health service for the 21st century – universal; comprehensive; publicly owned, run and provided; free and fully publicly funded through general taxation; with a democratic system of governance. That must include ending PFI and dealing with PFI debts and restoring migrants’ access to the NHS. We must also end the chaos and profiteering in social care by making it a public service, publicly owned, run and provided, free and funded through general taxation.
3. Work with the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill to bring legislation for these goals to Parliament in the next year.
4. Launch a national petition to stop NHS privatisation, reinstate a public health service and support health workers’ rights and struggles; work with the BMA and TUC to organise a national NHS demonstration; encourage all MPs to support the junior doctors, visit picket lines, wear badges.
We resolve to
1. Create a working group to assist with local NHS campaigning; make links with health workers; circulate updates and materials from NHS campaigns.