An NHS campaign group released its first film on 21 May. It is trying to raise awareness of what the Conservative Party is doing to the NHS. And to say the video was a success is an understatement, as it had nearly 10 million views. So now, the group is back with a second film. And this time, it means business.
So you’re thinking of voting Conservative…?
NHS Roadshow released the first film, So You’re Thinking Of Voting Conservative, to try and raise public awareness of just how Tory policies directly impact both patients and those who work in the NHS. And 10 million views later, the film is still going strong:
The Canary spoke to Dr Rishi Dhir, one of the organisers of NHS Roadshow. He explained how the first video came about:
We are a group of like-minded healthcare workers who wanted to put the NHS at the forefront of voters’ minds. The government is trying to make the election about Brexit. And therefore distract people from the chaos of patients dying on trolleys, humanitarian crises, nurses accessing food banks and the first doctors strike in a generation under their watch. The NHS is not an issue in this election. It is the issue.
Wait, what…? You’re still voting Tory?
The film was such a success that on Friday 2 June, NHS Roadshow released a second one. Called So You’re Still Thinking Of Voting Conservative, it busts open some of the myths and right wing lies used to undermine the NHS. And at the time of publication, people had watched it over 380,000 times:
Dhir says the public’s response to the films had been “very positive”. And that “Many people have thanked us for clarifying some misconceptions”. But he said the film hasn’t been without its detractors:
There have also been a minority of negative comments but I welcome all forms of debate and am delighted that the NHS is back on people’s minds as an issue.
The Tories can’t be trusted
The films’ claims are backed up by facts about the effect of Tory policies on the NHS:
- The amount the NHS paid to ‘independent’ companies has more than doubled since 2010 to over £8bn a year.
- 8% of government health funding now goes to private companies.
- Private companies working in the NHS have seen their profits soar by up to 100%.
- The NHS has seen a real-terms cut in the amount of money given to it per patient.
- The Tories have cut the number of people getting social care by 26%. And cut £50m from children’s mental health services.
- Successive Tory-led governments have capped [paywall] the pay rises of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers at just 1%.
Vote for the NHS
Dhir is cautious but optimistic about the result of the forthcoming election. But he is also deeply concerned about the Tories getting back into government again:
It concerns me how the NHS will survive under five more years of Conservative rule. The Tories have already brought it to its knees with cuts to services, staff and social care. And it currently has the biggest recruitment and retention crisis on record. But I feel resolute. I have faith in the British public; cut through the lies and mythology and look at policy and fact. Because a vote for the Conservatives is a vote against the NHS.
The NHS is one of the cornerstones of our society. And it is repeatedly cited as one of the most important issues during elections. Hopefully, on 8 June, the public will remember that the Tories can’t be trusted with our health service. And the NHS Roadshow team are doing an excellent job of ensuring this happens.
– Get out there and vote on 8 June. And encourage others to do the same.
– 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.
– Support The Canary if you value the work we do.
Featured image via YouTube