A key conference on how doctors can roll back the right-wing ideological tide that is engulfing the NHS will be staged by Unite, the country’s largest union, on Saturday 17 October.
The conference will be discussing such topics as doctors planning to work abroad because of the proposed 24/7 working contracts for junior doctors; and healthcare for the victims of torture, asylum seekers and refugees.
Unite, which embraces the Medical Practitioners Union (MPU), will bring together medical organisations in defending and extending the UK’s health and social care systems.
The conference in London entitled: Doctors and Medical Students – our role in saving the NHS - will be addressed by Dr Clare Gerada, former chair, Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and former medical advisor to NHS London.
Organisations expected to provide speakers are: Crash Call for the NHS, Doctors in Unite, Doctors of the World UK, Medact, Medsin, NHS Doctors for the NHS, NHS Survival, Patients First and the Socialist Health Association.
Unite/MPU chair Dr Ron Singer said: “Recent political events show that many people want something hopeful and positive from politicians. This chimes with the enduring popularity of the NHS as publicly owned and providing a high quality service.
“In contrast, there is deep hostility from the public to the accelerating privatisation agenda.
“Doctors and medical students will have greater impact on policy decisions and spearheading public opinion, if they can work closer together.
“We hope that by agreeing common ground and discussing ‘the difficult bits’ doctors and students will be more able to campaign for a better NHS and social care future for patients and staff.”
The topics to be discussed include: the devolution of healthcare to the countries and cities; private finance initiatives (PFI); torture, asylum seekers and refugees; 24/7 working; and bullying and whistleblowing.
The MPU, founded in 1914, provides an alternative – and radical – voice for doctors and medical students.
Notes to editors:
The media is warmly welcomed to attend this conference which will be held at Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN between 11.00 -16.00 on Saturday 17 October.
If they wish to attend, journalists should contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940
For doctors and medical students wishing to book a place, they can do so via Eventbrite.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.