Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Haringey Greens fight to save local GP surgeries

Haringey Greens turned out in force at a meeting organised by the Better Local Healthcare campaign on Monday 22nd September. The meeting was called following a decision by Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust to relocate local GPs to polyclinics. Such a measure could result in the closure of several of the borough’s GP surgeries.

The meeting was addressed by a panel of experts which included the academic Colin Leys, local GP Dr Helen Pelendrides and healthcare campaigner Kate Wilkinson. A number of local Green Party members, involved in the campaign, also contributed.

Pete McAskie, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Hornsey and Wood Green, emphasised that the Greens are the only mainstream political party committed to defending the NHS from privatisation and fragmentation.

A key theme that emerged during the meeting was the rather disingenuous way in which unpopular reforms are imposed on local communities. Therefore, James Patterson, the Green Candidate for the Alexandra Ward by-election, raised questions about the effectiveness of existing scrutiny mechanisms.

Anne Gray, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Tottenham (pictured above), suggested that action should be taken when doubts about the probity of private companies involved in healthcare services come to the fore.

Many attending the meeting expressed their frustration with the way in which the main political parties have managed healthcare issues locally and nationally. However, the meeting allowed Haringey Greens an opportunity to demonstrate their political ability and commitment to defending local healthcare services.

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