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Nationwide events to demand ‘our NHS deserves better’ on 72nd anniversary

NATIONWIDE events are being held next weekend to mark the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the NHS.

Campaign groups Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and We Own It have united to mark the anniversary under the slogan “Our NHS deserves better.”

The service was founded on July 5 1948 under the leadership of Labour health minister Nye Bevan.

Mike Forster, national chairman of Health Campaigns Together and the Hands off Huddersfield Royal Infirmary campaign, said: “During the coronavirus crisis in 2020, NHS and social-care workers have been called upon to work on the front line to keep us safe.

“They have often had to work without proper resources and personal protective equipment within an already failing system.

“Many have been forced to sacrifice their lives. [Earlier this month we] reached the frightening number of excess deaths linked to coronavirus of 64,000, the second-highest death toll in the world.”

“This is a damning indictment of recent government policy and its mishandling of our NHS. When we emerge from this deadly crisis, this can no longer be tolerated. This is also a critical moment when the systemic inequalities in our society are starker than ever.”

“The NHS deserves better — we all deserve better.”

The campaign groups are calling for an immediate end to the government’s racist hostile environment policy, for the dropping of financial charges on immigrants and for an investigation into the disproportionate death toll in Britain’s black and minority-ethnic communities during the pandemic.

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