SHA Political arm of public healthPresentation Transcript
Promoting health and well-being through socialism The political arm of the Public Health Movement
HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDThe Socialist Health Association can trace its ideological roots back to 1912 when the State Medical Service Association was established by a Dr Benjamin Moore, a Liverpool physician; and its organisational roots back to 1930 when its lineal antecedent, the Socialist Medical Association, was established by Dr Charles Brook as the direct result of encouragement to emulate other European countries where there already existed “organisations of Socialist members of the medical profession”. The constitution of the new Association was framed with three principal aims: To work for a Socialised Medical Service both preventive and curative, free and open to all To secure for the people the highest possible standard of health To disseminate the principles of socialism within the medical and allied services And from the start a close relationship with the Labour Party was seen as a sine qua non.
1.OUR MISSION - OR WHAT ARE WE FOR? To promote health and wellbeing, social justice, and the eradication of inequalities through the application of socialist principles to society and government. This clearly includes the three original aims of the SHA as set out in 1930. The new ingredient which dominates public health and socialist thinking at the beginning of the third millennium is the reduction and ultimate eradication of inequalities. To achieve this MISSION we believe that we need to be an actively campaigning organisation as well as one that supports critical debate about the wide range of issues that comprise health and wellbeing in the third millennium. We want to make a difference by having influence at the highest level, that is on the government and on the Labour Party as well as on other bodies that influence them such as trade unions and on other socialist societies.
2.OUR CORE VALUES Underpinning our Mission are three core values : DEMOCRACY – informed participation with election not selection EQUALITY – of opportunity and respect supported by affirmative action UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE – meeting the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and care needs of all, publicly provided, free at the point of use and funded by general taxation.
3. GUIDELINES FOR ACTIONPREVENTION AS WELL AS TREATMENT – investment in prevention of disease as well as on treatment WIDER DETERMINANTS AS WELL AS HEALTHCARE – recognition that the wider determinants such as income, education and employment are as important in promoting the nation’s health as healthcare INTERNATIONALISM – recognition of the UK’s international obligations to developing nations in respect of trade agreements and the importation of scarce healthcare personnel SOLIDARITY – working in close collaboration with other like minded bodies such as trade unions and the other socialist societies LOCALISM – decision making as near as possible to where it will have impact and at community level wherever practicable AN INTEGRATED, WHOLE SYSTEMS APPROACH – health, social care and wellbeing services provided through partnership working as integrated packages tailored to the needs of user, not the convenience of providers COOPERATIVE ENDEAVOUR – a cooperative approach to the running of public, voluntary and private sector services with worker and user participation
4. OUR PRIORITY AIMS It is not possible to espouse every good cause. So we will concentrate our efforts on those issues which we consider to be central to the attainment of our mission :• Reducing inequalities in health particularly for disadvantaged groups such as the mentally ill; and for vulnerable groups particularly children• Local democratic control of the NHS including giving patients a voice at local and national levels• Defending and extending the NHS including securing adequate public funding, and removing all costs to users such as prescription charges and travel costs• Promoting healthy lifestyles through the provision of easy to understand and quality assured information to empower the public and through countering the influence of anti-health forces and any other factors which undermine this empowerment.
5. MAKING IT HAPPEN To achieve these aims we will activelycampaign both in our own right and,where appropriate, in collaborationwith other like-minded organisations.
So, our key planks for evaluatingmarketisation policy are fivefold :• Impact on inequalities• Integrated care• Impact on user charges• Impact on level of “publicly provided” services• Impact on total funding available to the NHSWith impact on inequalities being the mostimportant.
The Keep Our NHS Public ( KOP) Campaign statement “The NHS stands at a crossroads. For nearly 60 years Britain has enjoyed a National Health Service that strives to be comprehensive, accessible and high value for money. Now, government reforms threaten both the ethos of the NHS, and the planned and equitable way in which it delivers care to patients. At the heart of the changes is the creation of a market that welcomes profit-driven international corporations who answer to shareholders, not patients. This market will compel hospitals and health professionals, who have traditionally co-operated to deliver healthcare, to compete with each other and with the private sector. Far from supporting the NHS, the private sector is in competition with it, and is already draining away resources and staff. If these reforms continue the nature of the health system will change radically: •Income and profits will increasingly come before patient needs and clinical considerations. •Greater inequalities in healthcare will appear, as profitable services and patients attract money at the expense of unprofitable ones. •Forced market competition among NHS hospitals and primary care will break up the NHS as a collaborating network of shared resources and information. •Even more of the new money allocated to health will be diverted to shareholders and company profits, and wasted on the huge administrative costs associated with establishing and running a market.There is no evidence that these reforms will improve the health service. There will be winners and losers, with some units and even entire hospitals having to close. We are already seeing job losses and bed closures in NHS hospital. In spite of increased spending on healthcare, and government commitment to patient choice, the end result of these reforms will undermine the choice that is most important to patients - access to comprehensive, trustworthy, and local health services.The situation is grave. The value of the NHS is immense and cannot be mirrored by the private sector. It must be kept in public hands, serving the interests of all patients and the broader public, not the private healthcare industry.We therefore call on organisations, healthcare workers, patients and the public to campaign to protect the NHS from further privatisation and fragmentation, and to keep our NHS public. For a detailed explanation of the urgency of the situation, and to find out how you can help, please visit our web site at www.KeepOurNHSPublic.com.”
What you can do:• Join Keep Our NHS Public• Get your friends, work colleagues, trade union branch,pensioners group, community organisation or hospital campaign tojoin up, too, and make a donation to kick off a local campaign. • Set up a local meeting to bring together campaigners to defendyour local services.• Set up a local branch of Keep Our NHS Public, or campaignalongside other community groups and campaigners under thisbanner• Get signatures on our petition, lobby local MPs, councillors andNHS organisations demanding a halt to cuts, privatisation andcommercialisation of health care• Build a public event - contact us for a list of possible speakers.• Help us build a movement big enough to force a change. Seeour campaign checklist for more information and ideas.For further details about joining Keep Our NHS Public and how youcan be involved, download our flyer (Acrobat pdf file, 590 KB).