The People’s NHS in association with Save our NHS Hull and E. Yorkshire put on a Mass March and Rally around Hull City Centre which attracted the attention of hundreds of well wishers and informed the public of the real and present danger that the Trans Atlantic Trading and Investment Partnership poses to the NHS.
The Department of Health, in response to our request, confirmed in a press statement last week that Cameron will not stand in the way of the NHS being exposed to the agreement. Under TTIP all public sector contracts must be put out to tender and the NHS cannot legally be the preferred provider. Companies from outside the UK can sue if denied access to the bidding process which has already seen £30 million of services privatised in Hull this year alone. These include anxiety and depression services and physical therapy.
France has used it’s veto to exempt it’s film industry and preserve the integrity of the Cannes Film Festival.
Cameron refuses to do the same for our World Class NHS.
Speakers included MEP Richard Corbett who swung by Hull as part of his all day campaigning across the region. Richard explained to the Rally just how important this issue really is. All local MPs were contacted. They had other priorities on the day which did not include being present at the Rally. Local councillors including Gary Wearing, Lynn Petrini, Joyce Korczac-Fields and Marjorie Brabazon made the time in their busy diaries to attend. These councillors are on the front line working day after day with little thanks. They are being let down on a constant basis by their leaders. But they are motivated not by the status conferred by their position, but by the needs of their ward residents. We received apologies from other councillors and are sorry if we missed anyone out. They won’t mind as they’re not in it for the glory in the first place.
Thanks to the Fire Brigades Union band who gave the march such a wonderfully celebratory atmosphere despite the rather grim subject matter.
Thanks to Maggie Grogan, a senior nurse practitioner who travelled over fom Leeds to show solidarity for what we are doing. Also to Phil Sanderson, Mayor of Selby Rosie Corrigan, Cllr. Brabazon, Cllr. Wearing and Liz Charles for their informative an impassioned speeches. Liz told us just what life was like before the NHS was founded.
Lynn Longbottom and the UNITE guys did a great job, but especial thanks goes to Theresa Vaughan who, despite a family tragedy and added responsibility for a very sick grand child did so much of the donkey work that goes into making these things a success. Our thoughts are with her at this time. That’s true solidarity for you.
Dermot Rathbone. (I take sole responsibility for this article).