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Health

RESTORING THE PRINCIPLE OF THE HEALTH SERVICE

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to a National Health Service available to all at the time of need, on demand and free of all charges- including prescriptions, dental care and eye care. We are committed to NHS workers who deserve wages and conditions that reflect the social importance of their jobs. The loss of hospital beds and outright closure of hospitals must stop. Under the Capitalist parties including Labour, Tories of all hues and Nationalists, NHS hospital waiting lists in real terms have increased while private health care has continued to flourish on the back of NHS resources. Our objectives involve the abolition of all forms of private medicine and health care; an end to all contracting-out services; .strengthening primary care, not at the expense of secondary or specialist services but properly funded care based on community, family and individual needs; increased training and recruitment of all NHS staff; an end to Hospital trusts and GP fund-holding; re-opening all 'mothballed' hospital wards and re-establishing district and cottage hospitals; restricting nurses' and doctors' hours to the average working week without loss of pay; and adequate provision of NHS nursing homes free of charge for those who need them.

NEEDS BEFORE PROFITS

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to taking into public ownership the pharmaceutical industry, so that the provision of essential drugs is not determined by profits to shareholders but by the needs of all patients. Our concern is not only for communities but for the workplace, where many workers become ill, disabled or lose their lives through poor and dangerous conditions at work. Socialist Labour believes that a safe, clean workplace is not a luxury but a basic right. The scandal of deaths in the construction industry is one example of why we are committed to improving the rights of workplace safety representatives, with increased powers and staffing of the Health and Safety Executive and no notice for workplace inspections. We want to extend the list of occupational diseases and to see a no-fault compensation scheme established so that discrimination is eradicated. The cost of restoring the battered NHS to the best health service in the world requires an immediate massive investment. This could easily be done by cutting the defence budget by two-thirds, abandoning the planned Trident Nuclear Programme, stopping aggressive foreign interventions and abolishing private health care.