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Monday, May 28, 2012

Sick, grotesque & cynical: The spectacle of Government Ministers campaigning to save NHS hospitals in their own seats.

The government is currently engaged in rank hypocrisy throughout the UK. They have conspired to pass an unwanted NHS Bill, force £20bn of NHS cuts through and shut down many wards, hospitals and units all in the name of cost savings exercises. The spectacle of government ministers leading the campaign to save NHS Hospitals ONLY in their own constituencies will sicken many NHS activists to their very core. If these ministers really cared about the NHS, then they would have done something to prevent cuts, closures and carve ups throughout the UK, not just the areas where they seek votes.

What sickens me the most is that Government Ministers are using their own special influence within the government to cherry pick which hospitals must go, and which ones are given special consideration. So, the Trafford A & E in Greater Manchester is to be shown no mercy because it has no government minister that could save it.  Wards have been shut at The Great Royal Western, Shropshire & Hinchingbrooke. In some cases even sitting Tory MPs have joined in the fight to save their wards & hospitals but their please have fallen on deaf ears.

Yet Health Minister Paul Burstow is using the privilege of his Ministerial position to lobby for St Helier Hospital in his constituency. Many readers will feel bitter that the Lib Dem health spokesperson has brutally ignored the millions of voices who cried out to protect NHS services, yet he wishes to preserve his political future by saving the hospital in his constituency (see here).

Likewise, William Hague has been foremost among the Tory voices who showed impunity for the pleas to halt the passing of the Health & Social Care Bill and yet he has the cheek to attend and address a 4,200 strong NHS march in North Allerton at the weekend to save his local Maternity Ward (see here). Hague's posturing in terms of detaching himself from government decisions is laughable. What will concern many is that has had 4 separate meetings with Lansley to lobby for the non-closure of the Ward. The activists of Royston, Heatherwood or Trafford might rightly enquire what it is that they have to do in order to earn the same audience with Lansley? This is a classic case of one rule for all of us, and special privilege for government chums. 

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