In late December the Scottish Tories, the same people responsible for this crisis in the NHS, stated they are seeking ‘progressive’ leadership to address the “deepening crisis in Scotland’s NHS”.
This sort of crisis mongering allows the Scottish Conservatives to win over moderate conservatives while sidestepping their responsibility.
The bare face of class society greets this opportunism outside the grey walls of Holyrood. Scottish doctors are calling out for a special emergency-style edict to emerge from Holyrood. The logic behind this being it would allow for them to keep operations moving as needed while being able to address the crisis- though increasing wages and not using the armed forces for strike breaks may not be part of the proposed solutions.
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) and the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM), has released a statement that says more than the Tories or the state could ever.
“This is a crucial concern for patient safety and healthcare quality, which are the fundamental principles that the RCPE and SAM stand for and which the NHS as a whole work to protect. If the current state of affairs does not constitute an acute care crisis, we ask our governments to specify what they consider to be a crisis.
“Our fellows and members, who work in acute hospitals across the UK, absolutely agree with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s previous statements underlining the gravity of the current situation.”
Beyond shallow manoeuvres to build rhetorical ownership over ‘fixing’ the NHS, the capitalist class and their custodians- Tory or otherwise- are the ones who destroyed it. This potential ‘acute care crisis’ is in fact an engrained trend in the current government- devolved or otherwise- national health strategy.
A typical capitalist strategy to gain profit is to neglect a property to make a nuisance; this then allows it to sell off much faster, as, in the case of housing blocks, the community may just want to get rid of it. If more and more beds go unfilled, more people wait in ambulances, the more ‘going private’ seems simpler.
On Friday the 6th January, Scottish government ministers had to meet to discuss this issue. Although no Friend of the Scottish working class, Labour’s Jackie Baillie made the point on the BBC that Labour and others have warned that such chaos was imminent, and Friday’s meeting could have been avoided with much more rapid action. Perhaps such a call could also have been made to all the government ministers present on Friday to learn what urgent means.
In typical fashion, Nicola Sturgeon told the press that nothing was actually wrong and solutions are already in the works. Yet as the RPCE/SAM statements prove, these measures are about as effective as throwing petrol on a blaze to extinguish it.
Thus, neither Tory glory hunting nor Nationalist manoeuvres are enough. It’s clear that renationalising the NHS- with all that entails- is the only way out.
Grant MacDonald, is a member of the YCL’s Edinburgh Branch