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On the march in Stratford to save GP surgeries

Health workers at their anti-cuts rally in Stratford Health workers at their anti-cuts rally in Stratford

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
11:22 AM

Campaigners took to the streets to warn of the threat NHS funding cuts pose to the future of GP surgeries.

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Campaigners took to the streets to warn of the threat NHS funding cuts pose to the future of GP surgeries.

Save Our Surgeries has accused the government of bleeding hospitals dry and wanting to do the same to GP practices.

“East London Save Our Surgeries has discovered many practices are to be affected by further cuts the government are to push through,” retired GP Ron Singer, 65, chairman of Newham Save Our NHS, told the Recorder.

“This makes no sense at all at a time when more services are moving out of hospitals.

“We hope [the rally] achieved our aim of waking Newham up to a serious problem of possible GP surgery closures,” he added.

In April, the government began phasing out the minimum practice income guarantee, a move that campaigners fear could force practices to close.

More than 50 GPs, NHS workers and their staff gathered outside Stratford station to show their solidarity before boarding an open top bus and travelling to Forest Gate and Green Street.

Retired health visitor Jan Blake, 56, of Manor Park, said: “A lot of people did a lot of work spreading the word, but quite a lot of people still don’t know about the problems.”

She added: “I think our campaign and our bus going around has really heightened awareness, so I’m pleased about that.”

The rally on Saturday heard from newly qualified Dr Peter Campbell, who said he was shocked that he has had to start his career campaigning against NHS cuts.

The bus joined forces with rallies in Tower Hamlets where the borough mayor, Lutfur Rahman, and Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali spoke in support of the campaign.

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