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‘Cuts leave scars’: thousands join protest over NHS funding

Tens of thousands of people have marched through London to mark the NHS’s 70th anniversary and demand an end to government cuts and further privatisation of the health service.

Shortly after, Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd – organisers said there were about 40,000 people present – demanding an end to privatisation, the closure of the internal market, for staff to no longer be subcontracted to private companies and for social care to be properly funded.

NHS workers from Wigan, who have been on strike over privatisation at their hospital, spoke about how there are plans to transfer hundreds of staff from the NHS to a private sector company called WWL Solutions on 1 August.

The government has faced enduring criticism that it has failed to adequately fund the NHS since 2010, and that it has overseen a decline in the once widely admired public health service as a way to privatise it by stealth.

Earlier this month, Theresa May promised an extra £20bn of funding as part of a “Brexit dividend”, although a government spending watchdog challenged the basis of the pledge, which it suggested was ambiguous.

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