New Communist Party of Britain
This is just one section of the Main Political Resolution adopted at the 2009 16th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain.
An index to the other sections can be found here -> [2009 Policy Documents]
The NHS has sustained further attack from the Brown government in the form of more privatisation. This takes the form of further breaking up the cohesion of provision of NHS healthcare by further major involvement of the private sector. This happens not only in the continuation of PFI in rebuilding old NHS hospitals, but in the formation of private foundation hospitals, which are taking profitable work from the NHS, for example hip replacement and so on. These foundation hospitals strike contracts with the Government to perform set numbers of operations. Once sealed, the agreed money goes to the foundation hospital, which per operation, is more than that which goes to NHS hospitals, even if the number of operations is completed. This has resulted in a sizeable number of bad operations, causing pain and stress and having to be performed again.
Taking these types of operations, for example hip replacements, cataracts and so on, away from NHS hospitals means that NHS doctors are losing out as well on experience and training in these areas.
Most, if not all, NHS Hospital Trusts and Primary Care Trusts are in financial crisis, bankrupt. But the Government has pledged not to bail them out, saying they have thrown millions of pounds at the NHS; that it is bad management that has caused the crisis. The outcome has been ward closures, cancelled operations, thousands of job losses, including specialist nurses and consultants, affecting recruitment of junior doctors and eventually the number of doctors being trained.
This is at a time when recent publicity has highlighted, yet again, the shortage of doctors and nurses in our NHS. These cuts will not only demoralise the staff but will cause hardship and worry to the patients, current and future, and their families.
Britain continues to have the highest level of MRSA superbug in our hospitals, and the number is rising.
A shortage of midwives has meant a failing service to expectant mothers and some fatalities have occurred.
The post code lottery continues with regard to receiving certain drugs, and there have been several cases brought by patients to the courts to try to overturn the decisions made by their Primary Care Trusts.
To cut costs and slash budgets, mental health services have suffered. Increased privatisation, poor financial management, constant re−organisation and so−called “service development” have been severely damaging for service users and mental health service provision.
Illnesses such as depression and anxiety are increasing to epidemic proportions in Britain today. They are often brought on by the working and living conditions of advanced and declining capitalism. Long working hours, unemployment or even the threat of unemployment, constant pressure, permanent debt, the promotion of individualism and compulsive consumerism, along with the decline in social cohesion and working class consciousness, are the causes of growing mental ill health.
Government policy with an emphasis on quality improvement has failed with a poor national standard of care being reported. Investment and modernisation of mental heath care should be a national priority rather than empty rhetoric.
Long−term psychological treatments provide an alternative and complementary treatment an alternative to medication. High rates of treatment resistance, unpleasant side effects, non compliance and persistent symptoms despite treatment emphasise the importance of establishing alternatives to medication.
Mental health policy needs to reduce rates of suicide, emotional distress, deliberate self−harm, self neglect and violence. Services need to be improved and high quality services developed with the objective of improving individual and care outcomes.
The NCP opposes the massive cutbacks in provision of care to the mentally ill, and their replacement by outsourcing to private agencies for profit. We oppose the closure of day centres and cuts in the provision of local care.
The New Communist Party supports the full integration of dental care services into the NHS as part of a holistic approach to public health free at the point of use. The destruction of local dental services must be reversed.
The NCP calls for well−funded, professional in−house care, with proper follow−up and co−ordination with other social providers for all people with mental health problems.
The New Communist Party supports a fully funded, well managed, National Health Service, there for all at the time of need, and continues to support all workers in the NHS.
As a short−term goal, the NCP seeks to re−establish the availability and breadth of NHS services provided before the Conservative government of 1979 started the long process of decline.
The NCP rejects the commodification of health services, and believes that the quality of medical care provided by the NHS should remove the market for private health provision. The standard of medical care must be the same for all.
The NCP notes with alarm the increasing privatisation of dentistry, ophthalmic services, and chiropody, and the unavailability of such care in many parts of the country.
We believe that health care is better provided at local hospitals and clinics where families and individuals can receive all necessary care in familiar surroundings. Maternity and nutrition clinics, district nurses, and regular health screenings at school and places of work are not nostalgic dreams of the past, but real options for the future in making health care available to people wherever they need it.
The conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan have, and are, inflicting enormous and complex injuries on service personnel, including severe depression, leading in some cases to crime and suicide. These patients are subsequently treated in NHS hospitals following their return to Britain. This is creating increased costs to the NHS with no provision of extra funding by the Government.
The New Communist Party opposes all privatisation of the service including foundation hospitals,a back−door method to privatisation. We are concerned that foundation hospitals are part of a process of marketisation in the NHS, involved in the reintroduction of competition and an increased role of private sector. We believe that it will undermine the public service, leading to a poorer, unequal service and and extension of charging.
Foundation hospitals will be able to raise income by charging for the treatment of private patients and many services will be subcontracted out. Congress calls on all Party members in the trade union and community to oppose and campaign against the establishment of foundation hospitals and all other privatisation, which has become parasitical. This is leading to the destruction of the NHS, which was fought for over many generations and we must campaign for an NHS which is free at the point of need.
The service and the morale of its workers must be restored to the full, to guarantee the sick, young and elderly receive the treatment and service needed, including dental services, fully supported by our tax system and at no extra cost to the patients and their families. It is the workers who create the wealth by their toil and provide the funding in the form of taxes, not the bourgeoisie, who have off−shore accounts and sit on the shoulders of the workers. We will continue the fight to save our services and, at a time when money is wasted on wars and armaments, it should be invested in the health service.