I have worked full-time in the NHS since house jobs in 1993. I did junior posts in a range of specialities, settings and regions throughout the UK. I work as a consultant anaesthetist on a 1 in 10 on call rota covering a major acute and tertiary centre. I am a trades union rep and Secretary of the Local Negotiating Committee. I’ve been a member of the SHA for over 15 years, a member of central council since 2004, lay auditor 2007-2017 and Treasurer from 2017. As Treasurer, I’ve worked with the Chair and Secretary to help turn the SHA into an organisation that supports publically funded, owned and provided healthcare, campaigns to end austerity and fights to renationalise assets and services, privatised by previous governments.

I am standing for Treasurer because I want to ensure that the SHA is an effective organisation that stands up for ordinary people rather than one that justifies corporate interests and defends the cosy status quo. Neoliberalism has been a huge success for multinational corporations and the financial institutions behind PFI, who offshore their profits in tax havens. The NHS has become a cash cow for property developers, management consultants, IT companies, locum agencies and the corporations and hedge funds milking PFI and outsourcing. Frontline services have been cut to pay for this. Patients, careers and staff have paid the price. The New Public Management justification for the cuts and privatisation just doesn’t wash anymore.

Why should the critically ill, wait in ambulances, queuing up outside congested EDs at hospitals with bed crises? Why should junior doctors be made scapegoats for systems failings in an underfunded and overstretched health service? Why should nurses have to use food banks to feed their children? It is possible to pay health workers a living wage and provide the facilities for safe, effective healthcare but it’s not possible if the political elite are in the back pocket of big business. Jeremy Corbyn demonstrated that the electorate support progressive socialist policies. The SHA and the wider Labour movement must fight to defend public services.

Proposed by Alex Scott-Samuel and Seconded by Jean Hardiman Smith.

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