Voters should vote for NHA Party to show disgust at government’s hospital closure law
Statement from Dr Louise, Irvine, NHA Party's euro candidate in the London region and Chair of Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign:
"The vote in parliament which passed the controversial clause 119 of the Care Bill should cause grave concern in all those who care about the NHS and our hospital services.
"Here in Lewisham we experienced first hand Jeremy Hunt's attempt to close Lewisham hospital because of the PFI debts of a neighbouring trust. We challenged him in court and we won!
"Now Jeremy Hunt has outrageously changed the law to make sure that never again will a thriving solvent hospital be able to use that defence against the decisions of a government appointed special administrator, regardless of the views of local people or clinicians.
"It is sickening that the Lib Dems voted to enable this legislation to pass. They claim to support "localism" in health care planning but this is the antithesis of localism. This is a centralised top down financially driven decision Local people's and clinicians' rights to be involved in these decisions have been fatally undermined by clause 119.
"Jeremy Hunt may think this is a way to fast track hospital closures, but it won't stop people fighting to defend their local NHS services. Lewisham did not win just because of its successful judicial review. It won also because of its mass mobilisation culminating in 25,000 people on the streets of Lewisham.
"Any Government which tries to close or downgrade valued local hospitals to bail out other trusts in deficit, will, as in Lewisham, face the anger of local people and pay a heavy political price.
"The public have the perfect opportunity to show their disgust with both this decision and with this government's NHS cuts and creeping privatisation by voting for the National Health Action Party in the local and euro elections in May. I would urge people to use their vote to send a strong message of support for the NHS and tell this government to keep its hands off our NHS.
"Every MP who voted for this Clause should know that their constituents will blame them if it is used to drive through closures of their local hospital because of deficits in neighbouring hospitals - deficits caused in the main by Government funding cuts and unaffordable PFI deals."