Socialist Worker

Standing up for the health service is proving a boost to Yes campaigners in Scotland

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2419

Radical Independence Campaign poster

Radical Independence Campaign poster

Leaders of the Yes campaign have finally realised what will inspire confidence in voters to back independence on 18 September—a rejection of Tory austerity.

For the past week they have hammered their message hard on the future of the health service in Scotland. Vote No and there’s no guarantee against cuts in Scotland’s NHS.

Newly qualified nurse Ulle Schild lives in Glasgow and is now looking to get work. She told Socialist Worker, “If you vote No then the wave of privatisation in England could definitely hit Scotland.”

Funding for the NHS in Scotland is allocated through the Barnett formula, which means Scotland gets a set portion of total spending.

The Tories’ Health and Social Care Act is selling off the NHS to the highest private bidder and could eventually see public spending drop.

As leading critic of NHS privatisation Allyson Pollock has pointed out, “Any reduction in NHS funds in England, including those which follow from the 2012 Act, translate into reduced funding for Scotland.”

Ulle said, “The way the NHS is being privatised in England is really worrying. 


“Things like the proposals to pay just to visit a doctor will put people off going. If you have no money then you won’t go. That would be terrible. 

“People should get access to health care if they need it not if they can afford it, why should people be treated quicker just because they have the money?”

For Ulle it’s an easy choice which way to vote when it comes to the NHS. 

She said, “I’d like to work in a public system because I want to care for people regardless of financial background so I’m voting Yes to defend a public health system.”

And many people in England in agree with her.

Labour Party member James Doran, who is on the People’s March for the NHS, said he thought Scottish independence could help stop privatisation in England too.

He explained, “A Yes vote would open the way for the NHS to be written into the Scottish constitution, preventing a government coming in and privatising it before voters have a chance to kick them out at the ballot box.

“This could be inspiration to the rest of the UK, giving a good example to those campaigning for a People’s NHS.”


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