Date 13 May 2004
Time to praise NHS workers and other emergency staff,
Scotland's largest healthcare union, UNISON, today called
on politicians to praise NHS staff and stop using them as "political footballs."
Speaking at UNISONScotland's Health AGM today (13 May), Jim Devine, UNISON's
Scottish Organiser for Health said:- ""The response to the tragic explosion at
Maryhill on Tuesday highlights the excellence of the NHS staff, and all the emergency
service workers, both locally and from across the UK. They deserve the highest
praise. UNISON is particularly pleased that the NHS 'Cascade Plan' for dealing
with emergency incidents has worked so well. The advocates of foundation hospitals,
PFI, and other schemes that split up the NHS, should recognise that a comprehensive,
co-ordinated and co-operative NHS is what delivers care for the people, not only
of Maryhill, but of Scotland.
"On a typical day in the NHS:- Over 60,000
people visit their family doctor 3,900 people receive treatment in accident and
emergency departments 24,700 people are seen as outpatients 2,500 operations are
carried out including 80 heart operations and 10 kidney operations 150 babies
are delivered 2,700 people receive a free eye test District nurses make 12,600
"This care is provided free at the time of need. The late John
Smith once said the Scottish Parliament was 'the settled will of the Scottish
people'. UNISON believes that the Scottish Health Service as it is presently constituted
is very much the settled will of the Scottish people.
"It is time for opposition
politicians, New Labour politicians and others to praise the NHS and its staff
instead of using it as a "political football". Such attacks not only undermine
staff but undermine the very foundations of the institution."
For Further Information Please Contact: (In attendance at Health Conference
on 13/14 May 2004, Kings Manor Hotel, Edinburgh.) Jim Devine, Scottish Organiser
(Health) 0131-669 0444(KM) 07876 441 239(m)