With still no plans to re-open Totnes Hospital’s Minor Injuries United on the horizon, campaigners are holding another vigil at the site today (Saturday February 23).
The event is part of a nationwide day-of-action against the government’s Health and Care Bill co-ordinated by SOSnhs – a coalition of campaign groups with major support from the Unite trade union which has more than 100,000 NHS staff members.
Totnes MIU, along with the Dawlish MIU, was closed in March 2020 due to staffing shortages and Covid-19, said Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.
Despite a 1,000 strong signature calling for it to reopen, and repeated indications from the trust that it will reopen, the unit remains closed.
Protester and town councillor, David Matthews, is leading regular vigils at the hospital calling for the MIU to reopen as soon as possible.
Saturday’s vigil will take place at the Station Road entrance from 11am to 12.15pm.
NHS protests will be held across the country as part of the nationwide action day, including in Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Opponents fear the Bill, currently at Report Stage in the Lords, will transform the NHS into a US-style insurance-based scheme run for profit by private corporations.
They say services will be cut and treatments rationed, with money taken away from frontline health care into profits for private companies.
These changes will be forced through via the creation of 42 area-based Integrated Care Systems with private providers on their boards.
Campaigners say this will create a “postcode lottery” for treatment and give control of budgets to private corporations.
The Bill also caps adult social care costs at £86,000, which will hit the average household hard, while leaving the rich protected, says Unite.