Manchester unions launched a massive fightback today against the onslaught of health service cuts in the region.
Greater Manchester's Trades Union Councils (GMATUC) and Keep Our NHS Public have organised a conference on Saturday February 16.
Five A&E units at Trafford, Bolton, Wigan, Tameside and north Manchester hospitals face closure. Units at Bury and Rochdale have already been downgraded.
The cuts will leave a population of 2.7 million served by only five A&E units in Oldham, Stockport, Salford, and central and south Manchester - all under enormously increased pressure due to the loss of the other units.
"The closure of any such units increases the chance of potential fatalities due to the additional travelling time of ambulances," GMATUC said.
"That also adds to the long-term pressures on all NHS facilities at hospitals nearby. We do not believe any should close."
Speakers at the conference include Dr John Lister of the Health Emergency campaign and north-west GP David Wrigley of Keep Our NHS Public.
"Only people power can save our NHS," said organisers.
More than a dozen campaign groups and Greater Manchester trade union branches are expected at the conference.
The conference on Saturday February 16 starts 12 noon at Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester.