Frankie Boyle, Stephen Fry, Rosie Holt, Ken Loach, and other celebrities are throwing their weight behind a new campaign which calls on candidates at this year’s general election to take a ‘Pledge for the NHS’.
Pledge for the NHS
The campaign, coordinated by We Own It, which campaigns for public services for people not profit, calls on candidates to promise that, regardless of which party forms the next government, if elected they will demand investment in the NHS to match equivalent European countries:
A study by the Health Foundation suggests that Britain spends £40bn less per year on the NHS than is spent in the French healthcare system in the same time. Compared to Germany’s spend on healthcare, the same study suggests the NHS’s budget is £73bn less.
In a statement in support of the campaign, former host of BBC’s New World Order Frankie Boyle said:
The NHS has been strategically underfunded by successive governments to facilitate its gradual privatisation. The NHS works best as a public service: it’s a monopoly, and functions best when able to take advantage of this.
The NHS should be robustly protected from those who seek to turn medical needs into profits. We only need to look to the US to see the life altering medical bills people can be landed with under a privatised system. Health provision should be entirely nationalised, and markets should have no place in something as important as healthcare provision.
You can get involved
The campaign also calls for the reinstatement of the health secretary’s legal duty to provide healthcare to all, which was scrapped by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. Campaigners say this would enable families who have lost loved ones to hold the government to account in court.
An email-writing tool allows members of the public to call on their parliamentary candidates to sign up to the pledge, which also calls for NHS services that are outsourced to for-profit companies to be brought back into the NHS as contracts end. You can do that here.
In support of the campaign, former host of the BBC Two’s QI Stephen Fry said:
Send the We Own It letter to all parliamentary figures in your area. It really matters. Tell them that you demand that they take care of our NHS for the future, for the future of everyone in our country.
‘For God’s sake, fight for the NHS!’
On Thursday 8 February, We Own It held a live launch of the campaign:
As Loach summed up:
Johnbosco Nwogbo, lead campaigner at We Own It, said:
The NHS is a key election issue. Right now we have a short window of opportunity to shape election manifestos and show political candidates that ending privatisation and protecting our NHS as a fully public service is a priority for voters.
Politicians don’t always do what they promise, but they hardly ever do good things that they didn’t promise. That’s why we must push for bold commitments to end wasteful outsourcing, fund our NHS in line with the rest of Europe, and protect it for future generations.
Let’s send a clear message that we’ll be voting for politicians who take the Pledge for the NHS.
Featured image via We Own It