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Sucking the NHS Dry: it’s not the Migrants, it’s the Capitalists

The media has recently been escalating the migrant bashing with the claims that health tourists are plunging the NHS into crisis by not paying their bills.

This distracting technique pulls our gaze away from the more obvious strains the NHS is facing. With flat lining NHS funding (although the government are putting “more” money in this is not inline with increasing inflation and demand), cuts in social care, along with crippling Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) with extortionate interest rates and massive management consultancy fees, there is no wonder health services are finding that there is not enough money.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The following is a personal account of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity by a member of South London Solidarity Federation. The author has made some additional points in response to comments which are included in the addendum below.

MCS is an adverse reaction to airborne chemicals, such as air fresheners, solvents, and scented cleaning products. Symptoms vary from nose and throat irritation, fatigue and headaches to full-blown immune system overload. It can be triggered by a one off or severe exposure to chemicals, pesticides or other toxins and become a long-term susceptibility to the low levels of exposure now common in many public spaces.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Sentenced for Discrimination

CNT-E has achieved recognition of the discrimination that Doctors Without Borders has committed since 2014 in their recruitment procedure. In that year, workers at the NGO managed to get their temporary contracts -whose use in this case was illegal- changed to permanent contracts. However, MSF did not change the contracts of two migrant workers.

Doctors Without Borders and precariousness of work

The CNT (an anarcho-syndicalist union in Spain) workplace branch in Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Spain is fighting against the precariousness of the fund-raising staff. MSF has been including abusive clauses in their contracts and also has been discriminating against migrant workers.

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2016

This year's Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is looking at "Building an anarchist future". As part of this dialogue Bristol SF will be hosting a workshop on:

Healthcare Beyond the State. For a people's NHS

What can we learn from recent NHS struggles that could help shape a health service based not on some golden age that never was but instead on the principles of direct democracy and mutual aid? How can we provide progressive healthcare without the bureaucrats and the bosses?

Here is how Bookfair Collective hope that the workshops and meetings with develop the theme of "Building an anarchist future".

Protest against privatisation of ambulance service Brighton

At the end of January some of our members joined a demonstration against the privitisation of another NHS service; patient transport. This ambulance service is being privitised to cut costs by the joint Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s), who decide how to spend the health budget locally. The demonstration was timed before a CCG meeting to show anger at the imminent sell-off.

Not only is this another dismantling of the NHS and introducing profiteering into healthcare; there are potentially large job losses, changes to terms and conditions for those transferred, changes of criteria for patients eligible for the services and no guarantee of the same standards of care, as a company runs dispatch and then sub contracts the transportation.

Policing Healthcare : the Immigration Act of 2014

Healthcare should be available to all. The need for care outweighs any excuse to restrict access to healthcare, for example whether they have the ability to pay or where they have come from. Yet the Immigration Act of 2014 is trying to reverse this. It affects many areas of life such as housing and health. The aim of it is to punish those who are vulnerable. It is part of an ideology that is racist, and aims to divert attention away from those who benefit from capitalism, stigmatising other areas of society.

This pamphlet, written by members of Brighton SolFed’s Health and Social Care Network, with support from Brighton Migrant Solidarity and Docs Not Cops, looks at how it is affecting the NHS and how it aims to make health workers do the dirty work of the government by policing the people they treat. This is through administrative oppression creating gatekeepers to health.

Health & Social Care drop-in surgeries

The Brighton SolFed Health & Social Care network holds drop-in surgeries on the last Monday of each month. The next one will be on Monday 27th July, 7 - 9 pm at the Saint Georges Tavern, near Sussex County Hospital (33 Upper Sudeley Street, Kemp Town, BN2 1HE).

We recently launched our new pamphlet on the implications of the Immigration Act for NHS workers, including ways to collectively sabotage the attempt to make frontline health workers gatekeepers to the state's anti-migrant agenda.

We welcome all workers in the sector, whether NHS, private, or voluntary / charity.

If you've any workplace issues you'd like to discuss with SolFed members working in health or social care, then come along on Monday.

Health and Social Care drop in surgeries

The Brighton Solfed Health and Social Care network holds monthly drop in surgeries, on the last Monday of each month. The next one will be on Monday 25th May, 7 - 9 pm at Saint Georges Inn, (33 Upper Sudeley Street, Kemp Town, BN2 1HE).
If you have any workplace issues that you would like to talk about with Solfed members working in health or in social care, then come along this Bank Holiday Monday.

NHS strike: Actions speak louder than words!

Brighton Health & Social Care poster for NHS strike

The call for 1% is a distraction from the real issues. We need more than 1%, we need to stop the privatising of our health care, better staffing, access to free health care for all, we need to be active in our work places, stop asking and start demanding and organising ourselves.
Join Brighton’s Health & Social Care Network.

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