Up to 20,000 people marched last Saturday to save services at the Vale of Leven hospital in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. There is a widespread feeling that the “substantial downgrading” that is expected to result from a pending report will put people’s lives at risk.
Protest co-ordinator Jim Moohan, a senior organiser for the GMB union, told Socialist Worker that he was “over the moon” with the size of the demonstration.
“This is not an affluent area, and it has the kind of health problems that you associate with concentrations of high unemployment.
“Yet health bosses want to shut down vital services, forcing people to travel 50 miles to other units in Paisley. There is only one major road out of this area to Paisley, it often suffers from traffic and poor weather conditions – sometimes a journey can take more than an hour, and that could cost lives.”