Lewisham doctor to stand for European Parliament

Chidi Ejimofo Pic: BBC

Chidi Ejimofo Pic: BBC

A senior A&E consultant who campaigned to save Lewisham Hospital has announced that he is running for the European elections next month.

Dr Chidi Ejimofo, a consultant in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital, is the latest NHS employee to announce his candidacy for the National Health Action (NHA) Party.

Ejimofo, who lives in Bromley, and has worked in South-East London for over 20 years, will be contesting  the London region of the European Elections in May.

Speaking about the NHS, he said: “I have lived and worked in places where healthcare isn’t free. I am very worried that the UK is close to losing this unique institution.”

The NHA Party was formed last year by doctors and healthcare workers who believe that the government’s NHS reforms are “wasting billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money” and accelerating the privatization of the service.

Ejimofo said: “I witnessed first-hand senior clinical colleagues from NHS England intent on driving through Government policies that had been shown to be both destructive and lacking in clinical evidence.”

“I witnessed Department of Health appointees in partnership with private sector management experts dust off an abandoned and discredited reconfiguration scheme at the cost of millions of pounds, while forgetting to address key concerns such as Children’s health, Mental health and Women’s health. I witnessed a Coalition Government so insistent on cutting services in the NHS under the guise of ‘necessary change’ that despite repeatedly losing in court under their own rules, they have now simply changed the law”.

Since last April, 70 per cent of NHS deals have gone to non-NHS commercial companies, while A&E departments are closing.

Ejimofo, who also sang as part of an NHS choir in the BBC’s ‘The Choir: Sing While You Work’ programme, said: “I am passionate about the NHS, about the underlying ethos of providing medical treatment free to all at the point of delivery. Hopefully by standing for the NHA Party I can help get this message out.”

The NHA Party is led by the former MP for Wyre Forest Dr Richard Taylor, and cancer specialist Dr Clive Peedell.

Ejimofo is the third candidate to stand for the party, joining Lewisham A&E campaigner Dr Louise Irvine and comedian Rufus Hound.

The European Elections use a voting system of proportional representation where voters choose a party, rather than individuals.

It is estimated that 200,000 votes are needed to get elected as a Member of the European Parliament in London.

By Tosin Oyeniyi

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