by Vivien Walsh (Greater Manchester SHA)
On July 4th, the day before the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the NHS – we demonstrated (with PPE and social distancing), jointly with Manchester Trade Union Council, with UNISON, Unite and other unions, Keep Our NHS Public and with Health Campaigns Together against the privatisation of fertility services at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester.
The service, provided by the Department of Reproductive Medicine (DRM) at St Mary’s, faces privatisation. According to reports, Manchester Foundation Trust announced earlier this year that they cannot afford to fund a £10m upgrade of the internationally renowned unit, and want to close the department.
The fertility service would go over to a private company in 2021. This would be a disaster for the service and future patients.
Now the Trust has begun an “options appraisal” over the future of the service. We insist that the #1 option must be keeping it public and keeping it where it is. We demand a public consultation so the people of Manchester have their say.
Women in the labour movement have been campaigning for at least 100 years on issues of maternal health and the right to choose whether and when to have children, and to use any technological advances that might make those choices easier, or even possible.
That’s why unions and campaigners are fighting so hard to defend the services that have been won over many years.
Speakers from UNISON, Unite, KONP and SHA will be joining a VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING via Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public (GM KONP)’s Facebook page demanding ‘No privatisation of Manchester’s fertility service’ on Monday, 20 July from 19:00-20:30.
For more information, see the article on the Socialist Health Association website which spells out in more detail how DRM is unique and why it is imperative that it remain on the site of St Mary’s and within the NHS.
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