I am writing this letter because I want everyone to be aware of what is happening to our NHS.
I am sure many already are, but in my experience there are still those of us who believe politicians when they tell us the service is “safe in our hands”.
Politicians have been lying to us for the last 25 years or so, and they are doing so now more than ever before.
When the 2012 Health and Social Care Act was passed it meant that everything was now in place for the whole of the NHS to be opened up to private companies.
Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats have all been complicit in the stealthy privatisation of the service which their electorate holds so dear.
There is a great deal of money to be made by private health care providers – just look online at all the politicians who are already financially involved.
The NHS is being starved of funds, yet we are told that there is plenty of opportunity to make “efficiency savings”.
There is obviously always room for improvement in a service of this size, but despite the costly and unnecessary reorganisations imposed upon it, the NHS is still about the most cost-effective health-care system in the developed world.
It seems that nearly every day now the media tells us of the failings of the NHS. Yet the service is struggling with not only paying the exorbitant PFI charges introduced by New Labour, but also trying to cope with a chronic shortage of staff.
Jeremy Hunt is making the situation worse by imposing a contract on junior doctors which will make it even more difficult to recruit and which will see them leaving en masse.
If you are old enough to remember the railway before privatisation, the same tactics were used then; the railways were run down to such an extent that they were portrayed as a failure and privatisation would be a vast improvement.
Who believes our current system is an improvement?
Within the near future there will be those who can afford health insurance and the rest of us who will be dependent on a second-rate public service.
The needs of the patient will no longer be paramount – the needs of the shareholders will take precedent.
There will be disjointed, inefficient, unequal care and we would have lost one of our greatest public institutions.
If this is what the mass of the population wants, then that would be a democratic decision.
But I do not believe this is what we want, and now is the time to support the NHS and those who work within it.
Now is the time to let our elected leaders know that we will hold them to account for their mendacious actions.
Greystones Road, S11