NHS and health

Tories: prepare the fightback!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:42
Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson has talked of ending austerity, bolstering public services and appealing to the working class, but on all the evidence so far that is a threadbare velvet glove on an iron hand.

NHS spending is set to increase, but by nothing anywhere near what is needed to fill the shortfall from its 2010-20 cuts. The tide of privatisation will continue to roll forward.

The NHS is probably the best protected part of the public sector. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2024, non-NHS spending will be 14% lower than in 2010.

The provisional local government funding settlement

Letter: The placebo effect

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 10:51

Reading Richard Shield’s letter (Solidarity 527, bit.ly/rs-hom), I have no doubt that taking his homeopathic remedy really is helping him.

Taking such remedies can lead to a measurable, and clinically significant change in someone’s symptoms — symptoms like vomiting, symptoms like intractable pain that has not responded to morphine. And unlike morphine these remedies have no side effects at all.

Everything that we experience in our brains is connected to our bodies. Our brains thin at the base of the skull and are continuous with the thick spinal cord that runs down our spine and spreads its

Homeopathy: comments by a far left physician

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:59
Author

Martin H. Goodman

In France, where up to 60% of the population seeks homeopathic treatments, the government has now announced it will no longer reimburse the bills for those treatments through social insurance. In Britain, support from the Royal Family long kept some homeopathic provision within the NHS, but in 2017 the NHS recommended that GPs should stop providing for homeopathic treatments.

First off, let’s be clear: “alternative medicine” (also referred to as “complementary”, “integrative”, and “holistic” medicine) is quackery. At best worthless, often harmful, and at times deadly.

Alternative medicine is

Facts and figures of the election

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33
Author

Sacha Ismail

The Tories have condemned Labour’s plans as “eye-watering”, “wild”, “reckless”, “unaffordable” and set to “bankrupt the country”, with much of the press singing in tune.

Just after Labour’s 2017 election manifesto came out, Solidarity estimated that its proposals would “take some tens of billions of pounds — John McDonnell estimates £50-odd billion — out of the £1,000 billion a year which currently goes to the rich and the very well-off, or to enterprises under their control”.

The 2019 manifesto isn’t out until Thursday 21 November, but the indications are it will be a similar document to 2017

Labour Campaigns Together

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:31
Author

Colin Foster

A coalition of grassroots Labour Party campaigns has launched a website, Labour Campaigns Together.

Its aim is to press the Labour leadership to include left-wing policies voted through at the 21-25 September Labour conference in Brighton in its manifesto and in the actions of a Labour government.

The key policies are:

• A just transition to a decarbonised economy by 2030
• Build 100,000 social rented council homes a year
• Transition to a 32-hour working week with no loss of pay
• Protect and extend the rights of migrants
• End all forms of criminalisation of rough sleeping
• Free our unions:

See you next year!

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 09:29
Author

Vicki Morris

Janine Booth has written about her experience in her new book The Big J vs The Big C: Issues, Experiences and Poems in the Battle Against Breast Cancer, charting her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

One in two people will develop cancer during their lives. The increasing incidence is mainly a result of more people living longer.

Cancer was something that people were ashamed to mention, endured by a silent minority in private, but now is more openly talked about.

There are many different cancers, some eminently survivable, taking different treatments to cure them or keep them at bay.

How Labour should end austerity

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:31
Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an

Caring for the NHS

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 11:29
Author

Simon Nelson

Mark Thomas’ show Check Up: Our NHS at 70 is a whistle-stop and funny tour of what is wrong with underfunding, short staffing and the creeping privatisation of the NHS.

In some ways this is Mark Thomas at his softest, and probably on a topic on which he is on very safe ground.

But the takeaway message is that inequality, low incomes, poor housing, cuts to social care and local authority services have all combined with the dismantling of the NHS to make the health outcomes for the poorest significantly worse.

In Kensington and Chelsea, the residents around the Grenfell tower had a life

Letters

Published on: Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:10

Japanese language not more socialist

Janine Booth’s article on neurodiversity and socialism (Solidarity 494) was valuable and interesting, but I want to query one (maybe unintended) implication.

Janine cites an individual “severely dyslexic in English and not dyslexic at all in Japanese” and takes that as showing that capitalism develops language in a form that “does not suit”. To build anything on a single case is dubious. So far as I can see from scanning the research, there is some indication that dyslexia may be less with ideographic languages (where symbols correspond to meanings rather

Irish nurses to ballot on offer

Published on: Tue, 19/02/2019 - 12:22
Author

By Micheál MacEoin

Action was suspended in the nurses’ strike in the Republic of Ireland on 11 February, after the Labour Board (the state’s industrial relations tribunal) intervened to recommend a settlement ahead of planned three-day strikes.

The three-day strike, which was due to begin on 12 February, was to be an escalation from a 24-hour strike on 30 January and two further 24-hour strikes on 5 and 7 February.

The dispute was only the second time in the history of the state that nurses had taken strike action, and saw around 40,000 members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and

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