Mass support into mass action

THE DUNDEE Campaign Against Hospital Cuts and Closures held a one-day conference last Saturday to discuss the way forward in mobilising the people of Dundee for free, quality healthcare according to need. The meeting heard contributions from several healthworkers.

Alan Manley, Unison branch secretary at Liff Hospital, gave an update of what was happening locally and nationally in the NHS and its effect on workers and patients alike.

From Dundee Royal Infirmary, Marie McKenzie, Unison branch secretary, stressed the need for the campaign to focus the fight against any loss of beds, and an expansion, not a cut in services. “Why has the city’s modern teaching hospital at Ninewells not got the facilities to carry out heart surgery?” she demanded. She expressed the view that DRI was not a suitable building to house a modern multi-function hospital, but instead of selling it off the NHS could use it, perhaps for patient convalescence.

In a contribution echoing the need for free healthcare on demand, Scottish National Party councillor Jim Smith urged the campaign not to “rely on the politicians, but rely on the people”.

Dundee CPGB branch secretary, Mary Ward, speaking on behalf of the campaign, listed the achievements so far, in particular raising the awareness in Dundee of what was happening in the NHS: “What we need to concentrate on now is making links with workers and the unions in all the hospitals and turning the huge public support we get into a mass campaign.”

The overwhelming view of the conference was that in the new year the campaign should go onto the attack, putting forward a comprehensive programme of what is needed in Dundee, including proposals for the utilisation of DRI.

A resolution proposed by comrades from the CPGB was accepted with a few amendments, the main points being:

Nancy Morelli