Words and photo by Dave Barry
Scarborough members of the political parties competed with each to sing the praises of the NHS on its 70th anniversary.
Cllr Mark Vesey of the Green Party commented: “Having just been abroad and met some American and Swiss people, I realise how fortunate we are in the UK to have the NHS.
“They are paying thousands of pounds every year in health insurance and it is their second largest payment after housing costs.
“We know that health care is getting more expensive and we all expect more from it so we should also take care of ourselves as best as possible to reduce the strain on services”, said Cllr Vesey.
“What is particularly worrying in Scarborough is the problem of recruitment as the hospital is downsized, giving fewer experience and promotion options to staff.
“Although we live in a beautiful area, we also have a low wage economy, reducing the prospects for the partners of NHS staff.
“As Scarborough is now committed to building 9,000 new homes in the next decade, we should expect the government to increase the funding and support of our local hospital”, Cllr Vesey said.
“My thoughts and best wishes go out to all the wonderful staff who work so hard under ever-changing conditions yet still give the best service they can to local residents. Happy 70th birthday NHS.
Cllr Derek Bastiman, leader of Scarborough Council, said: “I am extremely proud of the NHS and in celebrating its 70th year is down to our hard-working nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and their support staff.
“It is the responsibility of us all to give the respect to them that they so rightly deserve”, said Cllr Bastiman.
“Our NHS is the envy of the world and the continued support and investment by the present Government is proof that both the former and present health secretary acknowledged that further investment was required”.
Cllr Sam Cross, an independent councillor in Filey, said: “Happy birthday to the NHS, which is a wonderful institution because of the brilliant staff who work in it”.
Labour Party supporters sang happy birthday to the NHS at an outdoor celebration in Scarborough’s pedestrian precinct.
The event was attended by Hugo Fearnley, who will be Labour’s local candidate at the next general election.
He said: “It was fantastic to see so much support, gratitude and love for the NHS in Scarborough and Whitby.
“It can't be said often enough that our healthcare system is the envy of the world. We have to fight to keep it free at the point of use for many generations to come. It remains the Labour Party's greatest achievement and we must take pride in it for the next 70 years and beyond”.
Mr Fearnley added: “We wanted to celebrate and say thank you to our doctors, nurses and all other NHS staff for looking after nearly a million patients every day.
“This is why we had birthday parties, street stalls, campaigning and community events all over the county.
“70 years ago, the Tories voted against the NHS and now, after all this time, this Tory government is still underfunding it.
“We urgently need to keep fighting for this brilliant Labour achievement so that, whoever you are, healthcare is free at the point of access”.