Thousands marched in Ealing against A&E closure.
Thousands of protesters have marched across London against health service cuts and the government’s decision to shut four Accident and Emergency (A&E) units in north-west London at a time of financial challenges.
Anti-cut protesters joined the march from Southall to Ealing Common, carrying placards which read “save our hospitals” and “hands off our hospitals”.
The Ealing Common rally, which was the largest protest in west London for some years, was addressed by speakers including doctors, councilors and MPs.
The protest comes as services are to be downgraded at four of the nine A&E hospitals in the region, a plan according to which millions of people will be forced to use urgent care centers which can hardly treat those who need routine pain-relieving drugs.
Under the UK National Health Service (NHS) reorganization plans, the A&E departments at risk are at Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith, and Central Middlesex hospitals.
Dr Colin Michie, a pediatrician at Ealing Hospital in London said: “The consequence of closing Ealing A&E will be more dead babies and very sick children…the idea of shutting the A&E without providing extra capacity elsewhere is quite frightening.”
“There is a complete disparity between the plans and reality”, he added.
Closure of Ealing hospital and other A&E departments, which sparked protests on Saturday, can dramatically affect the lives of almost 700,000 people who live and work in these places, British media reports said.