Press release – Medway Green candidates support 38 Degrees NHS petition and call for a wider debate on health

rsz_p1040397 (1)Medway Green Party candidates support local 38 Degrees petitions to save the NHS and call for a wider debate on health.

Green Party candidates, Clive Gregory, PPC for Rochester and Strood and Luke Balnave, PPC for Chatham and Aylesford were among the candidates present to receive a petition to save the NHS at the weekend. This was organised by local members of the people-powered lobbyist group 38 Degrees and took place in all the Medway Towns on Saturday.

Clive Gregory comments:
“It is clear that the NHS has been a central issue this election and a focus of many hustings and interviews locally. The public are extremely concerned about the deterioration and potential demise of a service which we are all likely to depend on at some time in our lives.  We don’t seem to be seeing improvements either locally or nationally despite a massive reorganisation. This is because the reorganisation has involved a redirection of public funds into the pockets of shareholders. It stands to reason that this leaves less to spend on vital services. Furthermore, the funding of NHS investment through PFI’s has proven more expensive than had it been funded directly from taxation, sometimes seven times as much.  The NHS should be focused on providing good quality care rather than profit for private companies.  Profit has no place in the NHS”.

The Green Party manifesto contains a pledge to invest £20 billion in the NHS by 2020, a large proportion of the funds being dedicated to training and job creation.  It would be funded by a wealth tax on the top 1% of the population, closing tax loopholes and a small tax on banks known as the Robin Hood Tax.  Alongside this, the party has pledged to bring in an NHS Reinstatement Bill to return the NHS to its origins, as a publically resourced, publically provided service. This would restore the obligation upon the government to provide a comprehensive health service, removed by the NHS and Social Care Act 2012, and abolishi competition and the purchaser/provider split.

Clive Gregory also calls for a wider health debate.  He says:
“What we need is more joined up thinking. I visited a medical school in Sussex this week at the request of BBC South East, alongside candidates from other parties, and spoke to the students there.  Students were really on the case but the point they all made was that if there’s one reason that the NHS is struggling to attract staff it’s because of the impossible hours and working conditions. They don’t go into the profession for massive salaries, although they want respect and reward, but they want a high quality of life. Only the Green Party understands this.

“In the Green Party we believe that health for individuals is only possible in the context of a healthy environment and society. Our current profit before everything driven society is not only bad for our hard working health professionals, it is bad for all of us. It puts more strain on us and more strain on our vital services.  This is particularly so in relation to mental health, yet the mental health services are currently underfunded in comparison with other health services, an imbalance that the Green Party is keen to address. A high quality of life means rewarding work with shorter working hours so that we have time to spend with our families and pursue our interests; material security in the present and hope for the future; decent homes, access to quality education; accessible and affordable public transport; and a safe and clean environment free from pollution. We need a society that works for the common good. I believe that the Green Party can deliver that society. Please vote for us on May 7th”.

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