A march celebrating 70 years of the National Health Service and protesting against cuts to its funding is to take place next month.
Trade union members, NHS staff and members of the public are expected to turn out in their hundreds demanding an end to “cuts” being meted out on health boards across the country.
The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary on July 5, after being introduced to the public for the first time in 1948 under then Labour health secretary Aneurin Bevan.
A march, starting in the Cowgate, will lead attendees through the city centre before finishing on Albert Square on Saturday July 7.
Dundee Against Cuts member and chair of Dundee TUC Stuart Fairweather explained: “The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was and remains one of the most important achievements of the working class.
“Yet in 2016-17 alone, NHS boards in Scotland made ‘savings’ – in reality cuts – of £400 million to budgets.
“The demonstration on July 7 in Dundee is therefore a great opportunity to do two things.
“One – celebrate what the NHS means to us, our families and communities and two –demand that politicians and health boards stop acting as a conveyor belt for cuts and start fighting to rebuild an NHS fit for the 21st century.”
Jim McFarlane from Dundee Against Cuts said: “Perhaps nowhere is the health funding crisis as acute as in NHS Tayside.
“A four year programme of cuts amounting to £200 million is currently being carried out by the health board. That’s £1 million a week, every week, for four years.
“There is a crisis in mental health provision. Acute psychiatric units in Perth and Angus have been closed and services centralised into Dundee.
“But this is at the cost of increasing demand and not enough staff or resources to match the needs of people.
“GP provision in Dundee is getting worse not better. The ever-increasing workload on NHS staff is beyond belief. At the same time health workers have seen their wages slashed as a result of year-on-year pay caps way below the real levels of inflation.”