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Two hundred protest against cuts to NHS

By River Reporter Feb 21, 2013

Locals not happy with having to have so many cuts on National Health service.

Joe Stanley-Smith 

Two hundred people marched through Kingston to protest against cuts to NHS services in south west London.

Two A&E departments, two maternity departments and up to three children’s wards will be closed or downgraded at Kingston, Epsom, St. Helier, St. George’s or Croydon hospitals.

“They say to us that this is about clinical excellence, but their lies are absolutely see-through,” said Richard Donnelly, co-organiser of the demonstration. “How do you better clinical results by closing down hospital services?

Clawing back what we need

“We’re here today to say that we see through their lies. We see what it’s about: it’s about cuts, it’s about clawing back everything we won after the Second World War,” he said during a speech at the march’s climax outside Kingston Council.

“It’s about closing down our NHS services so that they can open private clinics so they can sell it off to the private sector, so that the NHS is no longer for people but for profit.”

Better Services Better Value, the organisation created to find 24 per cent savings from the south west London NHS’s budget, was due to make its recommendations as to which hospitals’ services will be affected this Thursday, but have delayed the decision until mid-March.

BSBV said in a press statement: “The NHS needs to change to reflect modernisations in medicine, technology and drug costs.”

Alex Nelson, an ex-Kingston student said: “It’s important that the A&E department is there for everyone, cutting it down would lead to big problems in the future.”

The demonstration started at midday by Norbiton Station, leaving at 12.30pm, and was made up of people from all walks of life.

Cameron heavily criticised

People at the protest chanted: “Whose services? Our services!”, “no cuts, no way, our NHS is here to stay” and “David Cameron’s got to go,” whilst marching.

The protesters passed the Bentalls Centre at 1pm, reaching the march’s end point outside Kingston Magistrates’ Court at 1.20pm.

Kingston Keep Our NHS Public campaign has given out 20,000 leaflets and is continuing to build support ahead of the BSBV announcement. The campaign is screening Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko, which is about the American healthcare system, this Friday.  

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