by Ronda Daniel, second year sociology undergraduate- @rondaemily_
Today marks the day of England’s first ever all-out strike in the NHS.
The National Health Service is something that has affected everyone’s lives in some way, and is a symbol of national pride. This morning, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has labelled today’s strike as a ‘bleak day’ for the NHS. Today, people from all backgrounds and all political standpoints are uniting in solidarity with the junior doctors today- this strike is not a ‘bleak day’, they are preventing a bleak future for the country.
The Conservative government are intent on providing a range of services, including major surgeries, for seven days a week (maybe the people that are supposedly running the country should do the same). This new contract, if passed, will inhibit the productivity of staff, resulting in more deaths than the government say can be prevented from increased staffing.
Hunt, and the elite mainstream media, are depicting individuals on strike as ‘selfish’ and ‘inefficient’ for standing up for their rights. This media depiction brings the well-known Chomsky quote to mind: ‘That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital’. Altering contracts, and presenting our vital NHS staff as inefficient is a part of the path to privatization, whereby the NHS will no longer be in public hands, but in the pockets of a select few.
The NHS was fought for, and is a vital part of our society, the reason many of our loved ones are still alive. We must support the junior doctors, and nurses in their strikes, and fight Jeremy Hunt’s demoralisation and privatization.
Follow the Junior Doctors’ Strike live for more information.