The NHS is costing us more and more each year and yet we appear to be getting worse service, and more of us are requiring medical attention more often. We are facing an obesity epidemic, a crisis in the long-term care of the elderly, and critical underfunding for the care and treatment of those suffering mental health problems. Unless the root causes of ill health are addressed the NHS will become unaffordable and only those able to pay will have access to health care. Caring for an aging population is already a real challenge that will become more difficult over the next 30 or 40 years, unless we act now.
Current National government policy is selling our hospitals and health care services to private companies, costing us more money and reducing the ability of clinical staff to provide good, effective health care. The supposed promotion of choice does nothing to ensure that efficient and effective health care is provided locally and actually limits many of the true freedoms currently enjoyed. We are not opposed to people being able to choose where they get their healthcare from; but real choice is being able to feel confident in your local doctors and clinics.
We need to establish a more effective preventative approach to health care. People need to be given more encouragement to exercise, by walking, cycling and taking part in sports. This can often most effectively be done through clubs, associations and self-help groups. We would encourage all of these activities. Poor diet is a major contributor to poor health in this country. We need to provide education and encouragement to people to eat more healthily.
Food safety and food security have become major issues. Recent food and farming scares - Salmonella, BSE and Foot and Mouth - have made us all concerned about food safety. Genetically modified crops pushed by big business, pesticide residues and chemical additives threaten to wreck ecosystems and damage our health. Animals suffer from the cruelties of factory farming, and current levels of meat consumption are unsustainable. There is an epidemic of obesity in the UK, while people go hungry in countries growing 'cash crops' for the West. These trends must be reversed. Safe, good quality food, produced by sustainable and humane farming methods should be available for all. This cannot be achieved if priority is given to the profits of agribusinesses, supermarkets and large food manufacturers. We need more organic, local production - to reduce wasteful transportation, provide local employment, reduce damage to the environment and strengthen links between producers and consumers.
The physical and natural environment in which we live and work has a direct effect on our health and well-being. Worcester suffers, in particular, from extremely poor air quality. Unless urgent action is taken, Worcester will fail to meet its targets for the Air Quality Management Zone that has been set up in the city centre. Indeed, nitrogen dioxide levels in the city centre are routinely breaching the recommended government limit!
We believe it is wrong to profit from the provision of public services that are government funded or government subsidised; in effect, making money at the taxpayers? expense. Government funded public services should be owned by, and responsible to, the people that use them; the public. The Green focus is on increasing community based services and community health centres, keeping care as local as possible. This will ensure that treatment for conditions not requiring specialist care or admission to hospital will be provided far more locally than at present.
Green Party Meetings
All Green Party members are welcome to come along to our monthly meeting to discuss our plans for Worcester and Worcestershire.
Our next meeting is our AGM and starts at 7:30pm on Wednesday 15th July. Our monthly business meetings will now be online via Zoom. Please contact Louis Stephen by email if you would like to attend. If you need any help setting up Zoom, please get in touch.
For more information, contact Louis via email or telephone 01905 359 509.