Julian shares this latest news on behalf of Island Labour. Ed
Island Labour utterly condemns the Conservative Council’s plans to end the Cross-Solent Travel scheme which gives free travel for seriously ill patients attending appointments on the mainland.
Earlier this year, Islanders learned that a further 11% of services previously offered at St Mary’s would be transferred to the mainland.
A double whammy
Now vulnerable Islanders will be hit with a double whammy of both having to travel to obtain treatment they should be able to access here, and also being at the mercy of inflated ferry prices.
There will be many patients who are left vulnerable and alone because their families will not be able to afford to be with them when they most need it.
Extra hidden costs for Islanders
This is yet another example of Tory policy unfairly affecting vulnerable people – the people who will feel the most impact of this proposal, should it go ahead, are those who have the misfortune to require medical treatment, especially regularly, and those who are poor.
It is not responsible or fair.
It’s not fair that Islanders should have extra hidden costs above those of other UK citizens, to receive treatment on the NHS.
Critchley: Cutting public services
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“It was just a few days ago when Phillip Hammond stood up in the House of Commons and in my view, lied to the nation by saying austerity was over.
“The day after, our local Tory council announced it was cutting another raft of vital public services while putting up council taxes. Despite almost unanimous public opposition, the same Tories on the council have since voted unanimously to cut the Local Area Coordinators.”
Critchley: “Islanders should be outraged”
He went on to say.
“Now this latest cut. Islanders should be outraged. First the Tories have cut our hospital services on the Island, and now they’re even removing the support sick people need to access those services on the mainland.
“If this cut goes ahead, then essentially we Islanders will become the first English county to lose our free at the point of delivery NHS. The NHS is no longer free if patients have to pay through the nose to be able to access the hospital services they are entitled to.
“It is now quite clear that the Tories, both locally and nationally, believe that Islanders’ votes can be taken for granted. At the next elections, it will be up to Islanders to prove them wrong. We should all remember this.”