Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge
Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge
Sunday afternoon people from all over the country occupied Westminster Bridge in protest at cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service.
On the eve of the protest I thought, why not the police let protesters occupy the bridge, it is after all public highway. For once intelligent policing, and that is what happened. Maybe because the police facing 20% cuts and in the same boat. Sadly though they did blot their copy book later by directing protesters off the bridge into a kettle on Lambeth Bridge.
Coverage of Block the Bridge by BBC Radio 4 news was a disgrace. A brief mention on a couple of on-the-hour two-minute news bulletins and that was it.
No mention on the garbage Westminster Hour. The real world occupies Westminster Bridge and yet not a mention. Nor a mention on the midnight news.
– We won’t take this lying down: Thousands of demonstrators force Westminster Bridge to close with protest over Government health reforms
I recall my grandmother talking about days before the NHS, dreading anyone falling ill and a visit from the doctor and having to pay the doctor. We do not wish to see a return to those grim days.
– I remember a pre-NHS Britain. I don’t want to see a post-NHS one
But already, in Yorkshire, patients are being charged for minor surgery. They are referred to a private company which surprise surprise, they find is owned by their own company.
In Farnborough, doctors and dentists have been told to refer patients to a hospital in Basingstoke, not the nearby Frimley Park. Patients are being denied patient choice and when they try to exercise that choice are being told they have to go to Basingstoke.
– Farnborough patients denied patient choice
Yes, there are need for reforms. Consultants should be stopped from using the NHS to tout for business. Sorry a three month wait, but if you wish to bribe me, oops I mean pay me, you can be seen next week as my private patient.