A leading NHS campaign group has joined forces with an anti-austerity organisation to call out Theresa May for not sacking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. But the groups go further, urging everyone to help “get rid of this Tory government”.
Health Campaigns Together (HCT) and the People’s Assembly have issued a joint statement on Hunt. After Theresa May reappointed him as Health Secretary in her reshuffle on Monday 8 January, it was also revealed he had been given responsibility for social care.
A “kick in the teeth”
The campaign groups’ statement, passed to The Canary, says:
Hunt remaining as Health Secretary with an extended brief for social care is nothing short of a kick in the teeth to all patients and staff who are suffering under his disastrous tenure in charge of the NHS, which is enduring the worst winter crisis for decades. People are suffering and dying, languishing in ambulances and hospital corridors, and all we get from Hunt is a hollow apology.
He should have been sacked.
Instead he has been given added responsibility for Social Care. Social Care is already in crisis and we can have no confidence that Hunt will do anything to remedy this. Like the NHS, the problems of Social Care are due to underfunding and privatisation, two issues Hunt fails to acknowledge or address. Local authorities are spending £6bn less on social care than in 2010 when Tory austerity began. Nearly 1.2 million people aged over 65 don’t receive the help they need with essential daily living activities. Additionally, the crisis in Social Care is contributing to the NHS crisis as increasing numbers of elderly patients are stuck in hospital because there is no care for them at home.
Unless this government starts to fund the NHS and social care properly there will be crisis upon crisis until the whole system fails.
Sack Hunt. Sack the Tories.
The statement continues:
We have no confidence that Hunt or his Government will address the funding issues of health or social care. Hunt’s philosophy is further privatisation of social care. He told a Health Select Committee that the elderly were a good ‘investment opportunity’.
Patients, the elderly, disabled and infirm deserve much better than this. To secure the future of our vital public services it is now more urgent than ever to get rid of this Tory Government and replace it with one that really cares for people, not ‘investment opportunities’.
A “year round” NHS crisis
HCT and the People’s Assembly have also organised an emergency demonstration in response to the “winter crisis” the NHS faces. The march on Saturday 3 February begins at 12pm on Gower Street in London. The People’s Assembly claims it is in response to a winter crisis that has “descended into a perpetual year round crisis”.
The People’s Assembly is expecting “tens of thousands” to march on 3 February. And given the crisis facing the NHS, and the disastrous actions of the Conservative government, it is little wonder.
– Find out more about People’s Assembly’s demonstration here.
– Read more on Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Health Secretary here.
– Support the Keep Our NHS Public campaign here.
Featured image via YouTube