Brighton and Hove Labour Party activists are planning a day of action to raise awareness about the government’s NHS reforms.
Councillors and campaigners will be out collecting signatures for a petition to “save our NHS” on Saturday 3 September.
They say that their aims include highlighting revelations that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition intends to make £20 billion cuts to the NHS budget.
And that the cuts will come at a time of unprecedented upheaval which is also likely to bring more private competition into the health service.
Labour said: “Due to the upheaval, staff morale in the NHS is falling fast, while waiting times are increasing.
“For example, local test waiting times for cancer and other serious conditions in Sussex have shot up by almost 2,000 per cent since the reforms were announced.”
Brighton and Hove Labour Party chairman Simon Burgess said: “Our NHS is under threat.
“Before the election, the Tory-led government promised no top-down restructures of the NHS but now they’re doing just that.
“They have no mandate for this. If we don’t act now to stop these changes, which will lead to worse patient care, more privatisation and more red tape, then it could be too late.
“That’s why local Labour Party members will be working together with local trade union members to mobilise the people of Brighton and Hove in to taking action to save our NHS.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, leader of the Labour group on Brighton and Hove City Council, also works for the NHS.
She said: “We do not want to see this Tory-led Government send our NHS into terminal decline for their own ideological ends.
“The NHS is not a free market, it is a health service.
“Labour and Co-operative believe it is wrong to force the NHS to find £20billion-worth of cuts at the same time as having to organise an unprecedented upheaval.
“Not only is it an inefficient and ineffective use of tax payer’s money, but it risks the health and wellbeing of thousands of patients.
“Staff morale is falling fast, while waiting times are on the rise.
“We want to send the Tory-led government a strong message from Brighton and Hove to cut waiting times and not our NHS.”
Street stalls for Labour’s “Save our NHS” day of action on Saturday 3 September will be in New Road, Brighton, and Station Road, Portslade.
Campaigners will be urging people to sign a petition which can be signed online at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/we-love-our-nhs-in-brighton-hove.html.
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