Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

‘It’s Our NHS’ – National Demonstration in London Attracting Students Across the Country

On Saturday 4 March 2017 people across the country are planning to congregate in Tavistock Square, London to march to Parliament, protesting about the conditions and funding of the NHS.

The Demonstration has been called upon by ‘Health Campaigns Together’, often referred to as the HCT, a national network of more than 30 organisations and unions supporting the NHS. They work together in defence of the National Health Service in Britain, defending the public service offered, and ‘fighting’ against the cuts, closures and privatisation of the service.

This event is attracting the attention of students, and those who believe the safety of our non-for-profit healthcare system in Britain is threatened by the current political climate. The NHS has been the sole publically funded healthcare system in Britain since 1948, employing almost 1.5 million people across the country, and deemed to be one of the most efficient public healthcare systems in the western world.

Over the past few months, there have been significant changes seen in Britain’s political state, and as Theresa May is demanding greater austerity in the NHS, further cuts are likely within this public service sector. For many this is posing a threat to services, such as the NHS, which are relied upon by millions on daily basis. This is against a backdrop of gross underfunding, and continued cuts and closures of NHS services. There is an increase of private companies who are seeking to gain even more of a foothold within the NHS. It has been claimed that the ‘continued pay restraint has seen the value of NHS staff salaries reduce by 14% since 2010’. Furthermore, job security and employment levels are uncertain, and there are now 25,000 nursing and 3,500 midwifery vacancies in NHS England alone.

As a result, the Red Cross is describing the climate to be one of a ‘humanitarian crisis’, which is ‘failing the NHS and the service it provides for our country’. The Demonstration is representing the unrestricted anxiety amongst the nation, and many protestors are hoping that it will prompt the government to amend many of the policy cuts, ensuring the NHS remains one of the greatest working class achievements of the country.

An event is being shared via Facebook, and the HCT is using the public platform to publicise the demonstration to a wide range of people across the country. With over 30,000 people already on the Facebook event, and over 3000 having clicked attending, a large turnout is definitely to be expected.

The Demonstration is taking place between 12 and 5pm.

You can read more through the following link;