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United front would stop Tories ruining NHS

Published 11/06/2015

It is hard to imagine life without the health service as we know it; the best possible care, free and accessible at the point of delivery for all.

With all its faults - bureaucratic, unaccountable, wasteful and unwieldy - our health service is frequently recognised as the best in the world for care provision and mortality rates.

The key reason for this is, at its heart, it remains publicly owned, where the health and well-being of all people is prioritised above profit.

This will no longer be the case if the Tories have their way.

Our health service and the principles it was founded on will disappear into history.

There is no doubt our health service has been undermined by the onslaught of attacks it has had to endure from Westminster and Stormont. But overwhelming support for our health service remains strong among the majority of the general population.

There remains an instinctual understanding by ordinary, working-class people that life would be far, far worse if we allow the health service to slide into an insurance-based system, like that we see in the United States.

It is essential that the workers' movement, health service supporters and activists play a key role in maintaining this.

If we don't, the only part of the health service we will have left will be its name.

Pat Lawlor

Crumlin, Co Antrim

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