ONLY socialism can save the NHS after ONLY socialism can save the NHS after years of Tory neglect, delegates at the Labour Assembly Against Austerity conference heard on Saturday.
Nurse and trade union activist Danielle Tiplady said the health service desperately needs a Corbyn-led Labour government to rid it of flawed practices, funding shortages and staffing crises.
She attacked the Tory government policy of introducing charges for foreign nationals seeking treatment on the NHS, branding it “racist.”
Ms Tiplady said: “Their racist policies blaming migrants, and making them scapegoats, is an attempt to shift the blame for the problems in the NHS away from the Tories.
“As a nurse, I will never ask you for a passport and I will never deny anyone treatment. This racist policy is not in my name. I am a nurse, not a border guard.”
She went on to describe the difficulties faced by people working on the front line, including her hard-up colleagues who are forced to skip meals.
“We suffer at the hands of austerity,” she told the audience. “Seven years of austerity has shredded people’s dignity and taken away self-respect.”
She launched a searing attack on Prime Minister Theresa May, who repeatedly said there was “no magic money tree” in the run-up to the June general election yet afterwards found £1 billion for a “shoddy deal to keep her in power” with the DUP.
“Patients are dying on trolleys in corridors and it takes days to get a bed when you come to A&E,” Ms Tiplady said.
She added that the pay freeze has gone on for too long with no end in sight, leaving health workers no option but to strike.
“The Tories not only voted against Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech that would have ended the pay cap, but they laughed and cheered as they did it.
“We must be prepared to ballot for industrial action,” she said to applause.