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It’s Our NHS – a view from the demo

MU Midlands Organiser Stephen Brown shares his experience marching for the NHS and why all MU members should care about the fight to save our national health service from further cuts.

Photograph NHS London Demo

Musicians’ Union (MU) Midlands Organiser Stephen Brown shares his experiences marching for the NHS and why all MU members should care about the fight to save our National Health Service from further cuts…

Like many others I attended the "it's our NHS" demo on Saturday 4 March in London.
I did so, and helped organise a contingent from Worcestershire, because I believe passionately in the NHS and am horrified at what is happening to it, with chronic underfunding and creeping privatisation.

Austerity is killing the NHS, and being made worse with the cuts in social care causing hospitals to burst at the seams.

In my day job as MU Midlands Regional Organiser, I know that our members, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, rely on the NHS to treat them if they are ill. They can't afford private healthcare which is what the Conservative Government seem to be aiming for.

The MU has a keen interest in preserving the NHS so that it is free at the point of use, because it is the greatest achievement of the Labour movement of which the MU is part, and it must survive Tory cuts.

Unfortunately, all of our major Midland's hospitals in Birmingham, Black Country, Coventry, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire, are in crisis and millions of pounds in the red with the situation only set to get worse under the Government's "STP" programme. Something, for instance, that will see my local Worcestershire NHS face another £230million cut when it's already £35million in the red. It will cause the NHS to collapse and we cannot allow that to happen.

There were 250,000 marchers, including many musicians who I chatted to as we walked along, and who were equally concerned about what is going on in the NHS.

The atmosphere was carnival like and all agreed it was a great turnout and the just the start of the campaign to get the Government to properly fund the NHS.

Our numbers can only increase as the message gets out there and we put pressure on the Government to recognise the scale of this crisis and so they act appropriately.

Published: 07/03/2017

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