North Thanet Labour Party has selected a passionate health campaigner GP Dr Coral Jones as their parliamentary candidate.
Coral became involved in fighting for the NHS in Thanet because of the threat to close the stroke unit of Margate’s QEQM hospital.
“Margate stroke unit saved the life of my Uncle Stan and many of his friends. It is an absolute scandal that NHS bosses are now planning to close the unit forcing stroke sufferers to travel to Ashford. That’s just much too far! Patients will suffer avoidable deaths and disability.”
Coral is a clinical adviser and staunch supporter of the campaign group Save Our NHS In Kent. The group has recently launched a judicial review of the decision to close the stroke unit.
Coral says they won’t just be fighting to save the stroke unit.
She said: “NHS bosses are now talking about the closure of our A&E and the maternity unit in Margate — the total downgrading of our hospital. I am entirely committed to stopping these dangerous and foolish plans.”
Coral was born to working class parents from Birmingham, but grew up in rural Victoria, Australia.
After graduating from medical school she worked in the Veterans’ Hospital Melbourne. She completed her general practice training at Medway Hospital and then worked as a GP in Hackney, London, for the last 25 years.
“As a GP, I understand what makes people unwell — poor housing, low wages, pollution, stress. To really help our patients we need to address these complex issues — we need to change the system.”
“That’s why I want to be a Member of Parliament. I want to be in the room where the decisions are made, to be the patients’ voice at Westminster. Health care is not a business — we are here to serve and make people better.”
As well as fighting to save Margate hospital, Coral wants to ban zero hours contracts, introduce a £10 minimum wage, build more council houses, tackle local environmental issues and eliminate child and old age poverty. She will tailor National Labour Party policies to better suit the needs of local areas in Herne Bay and Thanet.
She said: “We need to do so much right here, right now. I am ready to get on with the job.”
Coral now lives with her Aunt in Thanet and it excited to get campaigning for her area.