Home Secretary Amber Rudd has essentially blamed the NHS for the cyber attack on its systems. But there’s a fatal flaw in her argument. It is her party that has massively cut funding for the NHS, including slashing the budget for maintanence and repairs and abandoning Labour’s £11.4 billion IT programme. And it took a GP less than a minute on BBC Breakfast to destroy her argument.
Blaming the NHS
Around 45 NHS organisations have been affected by the cyber attack. It has led to some GPs and hospitals not being able to access files and patient data. Part of the problem appears to be that many of the NHS computers are still running on Windows XP. Rudd admitted that it is “not a good platform” for keeping data secure.
And she stated:
I would expect NHS trusts to learn from this and to make sure that they do upgrade.
Where’s the money coming from?
From Rudd’s comments anyone would think that the NHS enjoys using out-of-date equipment. Or that trusts were refusing to upgrade their IT systems due to ignorance or laziness. But the reality is the NHS doesn’t have the money. Because the Tories have taken it.
The NHS is in debt and is constantly having to cut services to save money. Figures from the end of 2016 revealed that hospitals had a £2.45bn deficit. And in 2016, then Chancellor George Osborne quietly slashed £1.1bn from the NHS repairs budget. But it gets worse. In 2011, the government abandoned Labour’s £11.4bn NHS IT programme.
It took a GP less than a minute to dismantle Rudd’s arguments and ask some crucial questions. She stated:
This is not a problem with the IT system. This is a problem with underfunding.
And she laid the blame with Theresa May:
Our Home Secretary was Theresa May and she knew that there were cyber issues here.
She then asked the question we’ve all been wondering:
Where’s Jeremy Hunt? This is a major incident in the NHS. I’ve not heard a peep out of him in 24 hours.
You can watch the interview here:
— Ray Palmer (@raystratman) May 13, 2017
Save our NHS
The NHS has descended into crisis on Hunt’s watch. And the cyber attacks are just another example of a crisis caused by chronic underfunding.
The Conservative government has slashed services and waiting times have grown. Also, Hunt has waged war on the junior doctors over their contracts, and he has also cut bursaries for trainee nurses. And this is all against a backdrop of the NHS being sold off to the highest bidder, with Richard Branson’s Virgin Care being one of the clear winners.
Meanwhile, Labour is now setting out its strategy for the NHS. Its policies include scrapping the 1% pay rise so pay can rise to a “sustainable level” for staff and introducing rules on safe staffing levels.
NHS workers are speaking loudly and clearly. They say if we want to save the NHS, we have to get rid of the Tories. So, anyone who values free, public healthcare should think long and hard about that before the 8 June.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?