Chair Anne Drinkell reports on the local Rally for the NHS
It was literally standing room only as over 550 people packed in Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday March 10 to hear a wide range of speakers passionate in their defence of London's NHS.
Dr Sandhu, decease a consultant at Ealing hospital, attacked politicians who are unprepared to acknowledge that there is an A&E crisis, despite the concrete evidence of local ambulance, waiting and transfer time statistics. And this was a mild winter with no flu or outbreaks of infectious diseases to close hospital wards...
Andy Slaughter, the Hammersmith MP, acknowledged that the statistics were terrible, then went beyond the numbers to describe the human misery he hears about from elderly constituents faced with long A&E waits. He defended staunchly Charing Cross hospital, with its excellent acute service particularly for stroke patients and its medical teaching. And it is a young hospital, built only 40 years ago.
Dr Louise Irvine reminded the packed audience of the successful campaign she has led for Lewisham hospital and urged people in North West London to mount a similar campaign to defend their hospitals. She also emphasized that the shadowy Transatlantic Trade and Investment "Partnership" represents a long-term threat to the NHS from neo-liberal, multinational corporate predators.
The platform also included Owen Jones columnist and political commentator whose speech was filled with reason and emotion, Dr Jacky Turner, an East End GP fighting to retain adequate GP coverage in the face of adverse changes in poorer areas to the funding formula for GP surgeries, and Dr Jillian Creasey, the national health spokesperson for the Green Party".
The rally was organised by Save Our Hospitals campaigners fighting to save Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals along with the London branch of Keep Our NHS Public.