Medway Council and Medway Hospital – Shame on Both Their Houses

Letter to the media.

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Dear Sirs,

I was not at all surprised at the hypocrisy demonstrated by Medway Council in their response to the news that Medway Hospital has decided to introduce parking charges for disabled patients and visitors. The hospital, like all NHS facilities in the UK, is struggling under budget cuts and tariff reductions introduced by the previous Labour government and maintained by the current Tory/Lib Dem coalition.

I don’t personally support their decision to target vulnerable patients in their attempt to bridge the funding gaps but for Medway councillors from all the main parties to criticise the hospital in such an outraged way is laughable when the same council have introduced means testing for mental health under their “Fairer Contributions” policy, closed day-care centres for very likely the same disabled residents that the hospital is targeting, increased parking charges to achieve £221k of additional funding (although you will be pleased to know that £200k has been allocated for the “Year of Celebration”)  These are just a few of the measures Medway Council has adopted to deal with their reduced budget.

Both Medway Hospital and the Council have had some reprieve though courtesy of the workers who, through pay freezes (or pay cuts depending of how you view it) and increased workload through redundancies of their colleagues, have “saved” the public sector millions of pounds. The hospital and the council should unite against the government’s cuts on public spending and redundancies instead of pointing fingers. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, pot calling kettle black … etc … etc.

Yours,

Richard Patey
Medway Green Party
Strood

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