Top surgeon Dr Philippa Whitford will speak at several events this August throughout Dumfriesshire warning that only a Yes vote in September can protect Scotland’s NHS from privatisation and damaging cuts.
Speaking to a Women for Independence group in May Dr Whitford – one of the country’s top breast surgeons – said she will be voting yes to stop the Tory agenda of bringing private firms into the NHS.
In the clip – which can be seen on youtube – Dr Whitford explains that while Control of health is devolved to the Scottish Parliament – as the Westminster Tory government continues to break the health service south of the border apart and privatise it, our own NHS is being put at risk.
“In five years, England will not have an NHS as you understand it and if we vote No, in ten years, neither will we. Because Westminster controls the pocket money, they decide what we get to spend.
“The Westminster Government can punitively cut any Scottish budget to make any Scottish Government enforce policy. They did that with public service pensions and they will do it again with the NHS and education.”
Dr Whitford – who was born in Belfast and is married to a German GP – said that she is not swayed into voting yes by any “braveheart view” of the debate:
“We don’t have to have a DNA test to enter the debate, we just need to want to live here and want to build a new Scotland.”
“If we do not vote Yes in September, I will be heartbroken. I have spent 32 years working in the NHS and it is very dear to me.”
Dr Whitford will be speaking at Lockerbie Town Hall on Friday the 22nd of August at 7.30pm at a public question and answer session. On August 23rd she will speak to a Women’s Café in Moffat town Hall at 10.30am.
Dr Whitford will then be in Dumfries in the Aberdour Hotel on Tuesday the 26th at 7pm for another question and answer session alongside Richard Arkless of Business for Scotland and Willie MacDonald from Labour for Independence. At 9.30am the following morning (Wednesday the 27th) she will address a second Women’s café event – again in the Aberdour hotel.
All of these events are free to attend.
Professional nurse and member of local pro – Independence group NHS for Yes, Emma Harper said:
“As a nurse I have first- hand experience of working on the frontline of the NHS in Scotland and see how devolution has allowed us to protect our health service.
“However, I have a sister who works in Cumbria and she sees the definite negative effects privatisation is having on the NHS in England and it is extremely worrying to think that in Scotland we could soon be facing the same fate.
“This is the case because Scotland gets a share of the Westminster public spending budget, so when Westminster cuts their health budget we are given less to fund ours through the block grant. Every £100 cut to the NHS budget south of the border has a knock-on impact of a £10 cut to the Scottish budget.
“This is an aspect of devolution which few people are aware of and Dr. Whitford is absolutely right to point out that a Yes vote is Scotland’s one opportunity to put a stop NHS privatisation and cuts south of the border damaging our NHS – and keep our world class healthcare system that is free at the point of need.