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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Protest planned at controversial Haxby surgery

York Stop the Cuts

12:01am 12th October 2011

Campaigners from 'Defend Our NHS York' and 'York Stop the Cuts' are to hold rally at Haxby and Wigginton Health Centre tonight (Wednesday 12th October 2011).

Local residents are being invited to join with dozens of campaigners from across York in a protest the outside controversial Haxby & Wigginton Health Centre, the surgery at the centre of a row after it sent letters telling patients to go private.

Steven Bentley, campaigner with York Stop the Cuts says:

"At a time when many are under financial pressure, the government is cutting back on health and welfare provision.

"With living costs so high, most ordinary people cannot afford to spend money on treatment",

"We have more technology and wealth than at any point in history, but when it comes to caring for society we are moving backwards to satisfy the greed of the rich and powerful".

The protest will demand a full investigation into the legality of the letters, which York's primary care trust has stated contained misleading information.

A call will also be made for safeguards against the practice of advertising private services to NHS patients to be included in the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the House of Lords.

NHS Campaigner Andy Chase says:

"People are now beginning to understand the damage that the proposals in the Health Bill could do to the NHS.

"There is a serious danger of encroachment on the principle of universal healthcare, free to all.

"The situation at Haxby and Wiggington Health Centre is a harbinger of what might become commonplace unless the Health Bill is stopped in its existing form."

Speakers at the rally will include Councillor Joe Riches of the city's Labour group and Councillor Dave Taylor from the Green Party, alongside members of both groups .

Members of the public will also have a chance to have their say.

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