Socialist Worker


Private plan a health hazard

26 January 2002
WHAT PRIVATE healthcare really means was underlined by a shocking case last week. The inquest into the death of Laura Touche uncovered a catalogue of practices at the exclusive Portland private hospital which the coroner said were "a cause for public concern".

Fury reaches right to the top of the union

26 January 2002
Alan Milburn's plan to ram through even more privatisation in the NHS sent shock waves through the Unison executive last week. A meeting of the union's health executive was so stunned that its business was suspended to allow people to take stock of Milburn's plan and discuss our response.


19 January 2002
HUNDREDS OF porters, cleaners and ancillary staff at Morecambe Bay Health Trust in Barrow, Kendal and Lancaster have unanimously rejected management's 10 percent pay offer. Most workers currently take home a measly £130 a week and are demanding a 15 percent rise.

NHS Patients offered no real choice

15 December 2001
"A war on the public sector." That is how GMB trade union leader John Edmonds described New Labour's new plans to send NHS patients for treatment in private hospitals or abroad.

Health service: Tax the rich to solve NHS crisis

08 December 2001
New Labour has finally admitted the NHS is in a huge crisis and needs more funding. A row has broken out about how to fund the health service, with talk of raising taxes, and even of a special "health tax". All the politicians shy away from the key way to raise money for health-taxing the rich.

Union's shoddy deal over PFI

01 December 2001
Leaders of the giant public sector UNISON union hailed a deal they struck with the government over the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) last week. The union claims the deal is a victory which will stop thousands of health workers having their jobs transferred to private companies.

Gestures can't hide Labour's failures

01 December 2001
There is one fact that all the spin surrounding chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-budget statement cannot hide. Under New Labour investment in public services in Britain will only just reach the level it was at under John Major's Tory government-and that's after Brown's supposed major boost to public spending.

Medical secretaries

17 November 2001
"We've beaten the bosses twice!" That was the reaction of medical secretaries in Glasgow this week as their indefinite strike action forced management to back down for the second time. The 300 medical secretaries, all low paid women workers, have shown how determined and all-out action can win. Last month, after just two days of indefinite strike action, the workers had appeared to win a victory when bosses struck a deal that conceded to their demands to be put on a higher grade.

Community nurses

17 November 2001
Community psychiatric nurses in Manchester are furious to hear that they are to be downgraded.

Rankin Maternity Unit: 'I'm still a red on this issue'

03 March 2001
A liverly, noisy demonstration of over 400 people took place in Greenock near Glasgow on Saturday of last week against the possible closure of the Rankin Maternity Unit at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital. The march, which took place despite freezing weather, was the culmination of six weeks of well organised activity by a group of committed members of the local community.

March to stop PFI

10 February 2001
"We urge our supporters to be on the streets of Birmingham on 3 March. There is strength in numbers and we are determined to get our message against privatisation across to the government."

Dudley strikers debate New Labour - and win

03 February 2001
Two Labour MPs were shouted down by 350 Dudley health strikers on Monday. But striker and Socialist Alliance candidate Angela Thompson won a standing ovation.

Health gulf 'like Victorian times'

27 January 2001
These Victorian slums in Poplar, east London, capture the image many of us have of the time in the 19th century when Britain was most divided between rich and poor. But those who live in the same streets today face the same level of inequality as their Victorian predecessors.

Drug firms sentence millions to death

20 January 2001
Multinational pharmaceutical companies are going to court to stop South Africans receiving cheaper AIDS treatment. It is the starkest form of profit being put before people's lives. Around 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have the HIV virus which leads to AIDS.

Back Dudley strikers: Stop corporate takeover of NHS

20 January 2001
"The strike at Dudley hospitals is one of the longest running disputes in the history of the NHS. It shows the determination of the workers involved, and the support they are winning is extremely exciting." That is how journalist and campaigner George Monbiot described the strike by 600 ancillary workers in Dudley in the West Midlands.

Every worker must support Dudley strikes

13 January 2001
Solidarity is flowing in from trade unionists around the country for the strike by health workers in Dudley in the West Midlands. Trade unionists have countered the mainstream media's news blackout on the strike by raising solidarity in their workplaces. The 600 ancillary workers were set to begin a further three-week strike on Wednesday in their battle against being transferred out of the NHS under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

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