Protesters march against NHS privatisation
Public speak loud and clear against privatisation of the NHS
Thousands of people took part in a pro-NHS rally in London, the finishing point of a 300 mile march from County Durham.
Organised by group the Darlo Mums, based in Darlington, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 marched against privatisation of NHS services, with 30 individuals taking three weeks to march the full stretch of 300 miles from Jarrow in South Tyneside to London. The march began on 16th August, going through towns such as Leeds, Sheffield and Leicester, gaining the support of high profile figures such as shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, writer and social commentator Owen Jones and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.
Supporting the NHS
Protesters have called for a repeal against the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which opponents have said opens the NHS up to privatisation, although government officials say the act gives health professionals more decision making power.
Darlo Mums founder Joanna Adams told BBC News “It’s been magic really. You only have to look over there at the protesters gathered to see people are behind the NHS and support what we’re saying. Profit has no place in public health.”
A department of health spokesman said “Use of the private sector in the NHS represents only 6% of the total NHS budget – an increase of just 1% since May 2010. Charities, social enterprises and other healthcare providers continue to play an important role for the NHS.”