Demo against cuts in the NHS was 'big success'

A demonstration rallying against cuts in the NHS that took place in London on Saturday was a 'big success', according to the BMA.

More than 30 unions and campaigning organisations, including the BMA, took part in the event, and voiced opposition to public sector cuts following the election - whichever party wins.

In his speech BMA's chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum (pictured at the event) called for an NHS that cared for patients through cooperation, not competition.

He said: ‘Isn't it ludicrous that while we are nationalising the banks, we are privatising the NHS? Are the bankers more important than health services workers? Are they more important than our - your - patients?

'We want an NHS led by health professionals working in partnership with their patients and the public. We also want an NHS that uses public money for quality care for patients, not for profit for shareholders, that is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable.'

Dr Helena McKeown, chairman of the BMA's community care committee, said the day was a ‘big success', with a ‘good number of leaders and a good number of followers'.

She said: ‘We have a good turn out of big names. We had [GPC chairman] Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC negotiators Dr Beth McCaron Nash and Dr Channd Nagpaul, and Dr David Wrigley from council. 

‘We were also joined by a lot of other health sector workers, and considering some of the public sector see doctors as well paid there was still a real sense that we were all in it together. The atmosphere was really good, as we were supporting each other and talking about the same issues and values.'

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