Local and national campaigns fight for public services at Brighton “Matter of Life and Death” rally, Saturday 13th October

Sussex Defend the NHS and Brighton and Hove Trades Council call on all city residents to join the Matter of Life and Death march and rallies on Saturday 13th October, gathering at the Level, Brighton at 11.30. There will be speakers at 11.45, and at 12.30 there will be a march to Regency Square in Hove, for a rally at 1.30pm, with speakers.

People are asked to wear something black, to commemorate the tens of thousands of people who’ve died as a result of cuts to vital public services.

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Jo Land, Chair of 999 Call for the NHS, will link the cuts that Brighton campaigners are fighting and the national campaign group’s challenge to the lawfulness of a cost-cutting new NHS contract in the Court of Appeal later in the autumn.

This “Accountable Care Organisation” Contract – now rebranded “Integrated Care Provider” contract – is designed to “manage demand” for NHS services in order to cut £bns of NHS spending. It would cement new “care models” that are based on the USA’s Medicare/Medicaid system, that only provides limited health care for people who can’t afford private health insurance.

Jo Land said,

“I’m honoured to speak up with the 24 major trade unions, political parties, community organisations and campaigns from across Brighton and Hove that are coming together to mourn the deaths of people from cuts to NHS and other vital services, including welfare provision.

And to say: No more! #Justice4NHS!

Life expectancy progress has stalled for the first time since records started. In some areas life expectancy is falling and there were thousands more deaths than normal last winter.

Poverty, austerity, cuts to public services and environmental pollution are all contributing factors.

This is one big reason why we’re challenging the proposed Accountable Care Organisation contract.

It promotes a “new care model” that pays NHS providers for so-called population health measures. These aim to improve the population’s health by changing individuals’ behaviour.

The powers that be call this,  “Ending the dependency model of care.”

This would do nothing to tackle the social, economic and environmental determinants of illness, health inequality and stalled life expectancy.

Instead it is part of the insidious process of blaming the poor for their poverty, the disabled for their inability to jump through inhuman, punitive DWP hoops and the sick for their illness.

This is a disgusting evasion of the government’s responsibility to legislate and regulate in the interests of people and planet so that we live in a healthy society, economy and environment.

Please support our legal case. We have a 2 day hearing in the Court of Appeal later in the autumn.”

Madeleine Dickens, of Sussex Defend the NHS, said

“This Government and all the councils that are failing to stand up to the massive cuts inflicted on them are slashing and privatising our public services out of existence.

They are shamefully depriving the most vulnerable in our society of their most basic rights – people with disabilities, elderly people, families below the poverty line, the rapidly growing number of homeless.

People seeking refuge from war and famine, including those like the Windrush generation, who have been here for decades, are treated like second class citizens or worse.

What sort of society are we becoming? Enough is enough.”

If you have never been on a march before this is the one to support. How long will it be before you or a loved one suffers because a vital service is not available?

All Brighton and Hove residents are welcome to join the protest and show solidarity.

If you would like to help 999 Call for the NHS to bring their challenge to the Integrated Care Provider contract in the Court of Appeal this autumn, here’s where you can donate.

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