NHS protesters vow to keep fighting ‘forever’

NHSeb''Rally against NHS reform in Sheffield.'Jackie Milner and Ivy Marshall of Sheffield Pensioners Action Group

NHSeb''Rally against NHS reform in Sheffield.'Jackie Milner and Ivy Marshall of Sheffield Pensioners Action Group

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CAMPAIGNERS vowed to keep on fighting against controversial NHS reforms at a Sheffield demonstration.

A crowd of protesters chanted ‘Save Our NHS’ and ‘NHS, Not For Sale’ at a spirited rally outside Sheffield Town Hall.

Action group Sheffield Save Our NHS organised the event after the radical Health and Social Care Bill was approved. It is now set to become law.

Banner Cross mum Faith Salih, aged 32, brought children Hana, seven, and Sam, nine, to wave placards reading ‘Doctor Knows Best’.

She said: “We want to remind people the NHS is worth fighting for. I think it’s an important time now to keep campaigning.”

The Government wants to overhaul the way the NHS works, giving medics more responsibility for spending and encouraging competition.

Concerns are that will lead to privatisation of the system.

Retired Darnall GP Dr Jack Czauderna vowed people would keep fighting to overturn the bill - comparing it to when the unpopular poll tax law was withdrawn because of a public backlash. He said: “It’s obviously disappointing the bill was passed. But this is so important for the NHS I think it is our responsibility as citizens, for our children and grandchildren, that we keep the NHS in its core ideals.”

In Sheffield, doctors are planning to challenge Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg at the next election. And Sheffield Pensioners Action Group members were also at the rally.

Secretary Jackie Milner said: “I have a son with bladder cancer and a daughter with epilepsy. What will happen when there is no NHS? Where will we find the money to pay for treatments? We will keep fighting this forever.”

Green Party Coun Jillian Creasy, also a doctor, said: “The NHS is a public service, it’s not for profit.”

The demonstration included speeches from the Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance, who hold an open day at Burngreave Vestry Hall from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday.