Pam Zinkin reminds us: “Our NHS celebrates 70 years on 5 July”May 16, 2018
There will be a march on 30 June to celebrate and
we invite members to make cakes to give to our
wonderful NHS staff on 5 July.
Some of us remember the time before the NHS when
our families were afraid of being ill because they
couldn’t afford to pay the doctor or buy medicines.
Now our NHS is under threat and we are becoming
We all know about the “winter crisis”: the cancelled operations,
the huge strain on insufficient staff, the longer
waiting times to see GPs.
Our ageing population is often blamed but most of us
are OK until we get past 70 (same age as our NHS) and
we contribute to our families and communities.
Lots of medical advances have helped but cost more
so our NHS always needed to increase funding each
year. Governments know this but instead of financing
our health (and social services) adequately they have
looked for ways of undermining the NHS.
A plan put forward by Conservative MPs Sir Oliver
Letwin and John Redwood in 1988 aimed to get a USstyle
medical insurance system. To win support for this,
they needed to show that the NHS was a broken system.
So they set about breaking it!
They got various groups to agree to changing the basis
of our NHS: restructuring at management level, creating
independent Trusts, increasing the use of joint ventures
with the private sector, extending the principle of
charging and supporting US-style systems of health
Never has there been a more urgent time in the
amazing 70-year history of our NHS to stand up and
defend what is ours.