GMB Marches to Save Our NHS
On Saturday March 4th thousands of GMB members and NHS workers joined health campaigners and other trade unions at the ‘Our NHS’ demonstration in London, organised in protest at the billions of pounds worth of cuts being made to NHS services and the continuing pay squeeze facing NHS workers since 2010.
GMB members voiced their outrage at years outsourcing, underfunding, and undermining of our NHS and urged the Government to stop denying and start dealing with the crisis, by properly funding our health service and bringing in more doctors and nurses so that it can cope with the challenges of today and tomorrow.
One of those members was Lara McNeill, a young member from Southern Region, who is currently studying Medicine at University ahead of starting her placement in an NHS hospital later this year. Following the march Lara gave her thoughts on what was one of the biggest NHS demonstrations in the country to date:
"It was great to see so many NHS workers, campaigners and trade union members from around the country marching to save our vital health service. From when the first marchers began to arrive you could feel the collective sense of how important the NHS is and the anger at how it has been driven into crisis under the Tories.
Healthcare students work hard for the NHS alongside their studies, and the government’s simultaneous attacks on higher education and the health service has left us demoralised, overstretched and worried for the future.
We need more nurses and doctors than ever but instead the government has let these application numbers fall due to chronic underfunding, scrapping of bursaries and pay restraints crushing morale. NHS students and staff need our solidarity more than ever as the government refuses to act on this crisis.
If the Government’s Budget in the week following the march was anything to go by, it shows that the Tories are not only refusing to get a grip on the NHS crisis, they’re barely willing to lift a finger. We saw a small increase in social care spending which doesn't even cover half the cuts the Government have made since 2010. Other big issues causing the NHS crisis such as real-terms wage cuts for healthcare workers and underfunding of mental health services and the decrease in nursing applications were not even addressed.
But if there is one thing that the NHS march showed more than anything was that people in this country are not going to allow our NHS to be driven into the ground and sold off without a fight, and it won’t be the last time thousands march to say 'this is our NHS!'"
You can watch a video of the march here.