On Saturday, Bethnal Green and Bow MP, Rushanara Ali joined forces with hundreds of residents from across three neighbouring boroughs in a street rally organised by a campaign to save 22 GP practices across Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham which have been earmarked for closure due to government changes to funding. The rally also marked the 66th anniversary of the NHS. Five GP surgeries face closure in Tower Hamlets and 98 across the country.
The rally began at Altab Ali Park in her constituency and ended at London Fields in Hackney. The rally was also attended by Labour councillors and Labour MP Diane Abbott.
Following the street rally, Rushanara Ali MP said:
"There is serious cause for concern when time after time this Tory-led government is failing to grasp the challenges my constituents face on a daily basis. Irresponsible cuts to funding resulting in the closure of GP practices not only in Tower Hamlets but nationally will undoubtedly have serious implications for thousands of people who expect to be able to visit their local GPs services they know and trust. The government’s funding formula will be damaging to people’s healthcare and will particularly harm some of the poorest communities in the country. In my constituency where there are high levels of poverty and health inequalities these changes will be devastating.
“Our local GP services play a crucial role in allowing local residents to access frontline primary care. With pressure already mounting on our practices and A&E services and with residents experiencing even longer waiting times before seeing their GP, our NHS is being decimated on this government’s watch. Having received no clear answer from the Prime Minister when I raised it with him in Parliament, I will continue to fight for our local GPs surgeries on behalf of the residents and activists who came together in such large numbers on Saturday.”