Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) plans to close all nine of Oxfordshire's community hospitals. The plans were originally released in the papers for its meeting on 29th September.
“Discussions with people in the know indicate that these are firm proposals and likely to go ahead,” says Larry Sanders, Green Party candidate in the Witney parliamentary by election.
Larry adds: “The proposal discusses replacing the nine hospitals with a vague and untested idea of four hubs to focus on rehabilitation. The problem is the requirement on the Clinical Commissioning Group to find £200 million of savings by 2020-21.”
Larry puts the cuts into context:
“The UK spends about 30% less on Health Care per head than comparable European countries. This shortfall has been created by policies shifting tens of billions of pounds from the general population to the very rich. The Green Party proposes to add £20 billion to the NHS budget over the next four years to stop cuts. The Conservatives are continuing large-scale privatisation and starving the NHS of the funds it needs. The positions of both Labour and Liberal Democrats are not clear. Jeremy Corbyn has supported the Green Party Bill introduced by Caroline Lucas MP to end privatisation, but this is backed by only a few of his MPs. The Lib Dems have begun discussing increased taxation to limit cuts. None of these three parties is accepting that an ageing population, with people living longer, means raising the proportion of Gross Domestic Product spent on Health to at least the European average of over 10% of GDP.”
Larry adds: “At this time only a vote for the Greens is a vote to save our community hospitals, our GP surgeries and the rest of our struggling Oxfordshire NHS.”