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Say No To A&E Closures!

category limerick | miscellaneous | news report author Saturday July 28, 2007 00:01author by Limerick Socialist Party - Socialist Partyauthor email info at socialistparty dot netauthor address Limerick, Ennis & Nenaghauthor phone 086-8064801 Report this post to the editors

Fight for Free Top-Quality Healthcare Now!

A leaked report for the government and HSE contains plans to close down A&E services in St.John’s, Nenagh and Ennis hospitals. If introduced these cuts will put peoples lives at risk throughout the Mid-west region. These plans must be fought by patients, communities and the trade unions.

The report by the firm ‘Teamwork’ will be published in the next few weeks and if it is implemented it will further clog up A&E at the Regional hospital and leave thousands of people in Clare and Tipperary hours away from emergency services. The only reason this is being done is to cut costs.
5 more years of Harneys cuts?
5 more years of Harneys cuts?

A similar report, the Hanly Report, in 2003 was defeated when around 15,000 people protested in Ennis. This shows that people power can force back the governments agenda. If the government try to implement this new report it must be met by similar protests and even strike action by workers.

The cost cutting and downgrading shows the true cause of the health crisis: a dire lack of facilities, staff and investment. Recent spending has fallen far short. Ireland has been playing catch-up with the rest of Europe since the 1980's when well over 3,000 beds were taken out of the system.

Now the government is running down public healthcare while building up private medicine. Here in Limerick the government is helping their big business buddies build two new private hospitals. This all part of the governments big co-location and privatisation plans.


A two-tier system

These plans will cost the government milllions which will be funneled into the pockets of the super rich. It will strengthen the two-tier nature of health care where it is wealth not need which dictates what treatment you get. This is part of the wider privatisation agenda and the idea that ‘for-profit’ is better.

All the establishment parties support this idea. Now even the Greens have sold-out those who voted for them looking for an alternative. The Greens seem to be going quietly along with Fianna Fail’s privatisation agenda. The only force that can make the government backdown is a united campaign of health workers, patients and other working class people.

The ‘Opposition’ - we need a real alternative

The supposed ‘opposition’ of Fine Gael\Labour want even more market control of health and when last in government they too underfunded public health care and supported the development of the two-tier system. Similarly, none of the establishment parties supported the nurses in their recent struggle.

The Socialist Party has consistenly fought for a free public health service. Whilst all the establishment parties lined up to attack the nurses, we supported their campaign. We believe the trade unions have a crucial role to play in building a movement to oppose the A&E closures here in Limerick and the wider health crisis. Already thousands of people have taken to the streets of Letterkenny and in Monaghan protesting at a shortage of resources. This shows that a movement can be built, if a leadership is given.

Build the Socialist Alternative

- Do you think the health service should be run for peoples needs not private greed?
- Do you want to see working class people getting organised to challenge the agenda of big business and the government?
- Do you want to see society changed? Do you want a society run for working class people not the profiteers and speculators?

If so, join the Socialist Party - a campaigning party organising for socialist change

Related Link: http://www.SocialistParty.net


PDF Document PDF of the Health Care leaflet 0.19 Mb

author by Mike Novackpublication date Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not easy to do, but I think you have to separate into two rather different questions.

The first -- full and adequate funding of the publicily provided health care system.

The second -- the "two tier" problem.
That's a rather difficult subject, and you need to argue against it with examples of what you mean, because this is a situation where the cure can easily be worse than the diesease. In other words, how do you propose to prevent the rich from access to health care not provided by the public system? How do you STOP "two tier" in practice?

Do you prevent all travel by the rich?
Make it illegal for them to have any medical treatment while abroad?
If so, to what does this apply? Obviously you want Irish (rich or poor) while travelling abroad to get medical care for problems that arise while travelling. Do you propose some reg like "travelling aborad requires prior medical exams and listing of "pre-existing" conditions" (which must NOT be treated).

Those points and similar ones having been considered, how do you decide to what extent medical treatments not provided by the system should be prevented internally if they can't be prevented internally.

Please note --- I can think of one very obvious medical treatment not available in Ireland, public system or not, which you get abroad (assuming you have enough money to get abroad) ---- what in my day would have been a D&C without a prior pregancy test showing not pregnant. THAT'S an exaple of "two tier", yes? (it was while I was growing up before abortions were legal here. I'm NOT talking about back room abortions, but a D&C performed in a hospital with either faked paperwork of the medical need sort or faked pregnancy test --- going rate back then about 1/4 a years tuition at an Ivy League "uni")

author by Cian P - Sppublication date Sat Jul 28, 2007 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is done by having a top-qulity, free public system, eliminating the need for people to get private care. Also, stop all privatisations and public money going into private hospitals. No need for complex laws etc. Simple. :-)

author by Jimbobpublication date Mon Jul 30, 2007 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr. Novack wrote:
Those points and similar ones having been considered, how do you decide to what extent medical treatments not provided by the system should be prevented internally if they can't be prevented internally.

Jimbob replies,
Hello Mr. Novack,
I don't see what angle you're coming from. The idea of stopping a two tier health system is not to stop millionaires from flying off to the best private clinics in Geneva, Gemany or the US.
The idea is to stop the government and their 'private healthcare buddies' from ripping out the guts (metaphorically) of the existing public system, thereby forcing us to go private to get speedy treatment, when we already pay for the public system.
Sometimes, this even involves the private treatment being carried out in the public hospital, using public staff, so paying over the odds, and subsidisig the greed of the two tier system.
That public /private system is illegal in other countries.

The PD's are following an agenda that has been used elsewhere, screw up the public system, allow it to then screw itself up further, and then 'rescue' it with the shinging knights of private investors.

author by Asisc - blahpublication date Mon Jul 30, 2007 21:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The supposed ‘opposition’ of Fine Gael\Labour want even more market control of health and when last in government they too underfunded public health care and supported the development of the two-tier system."

Explain how?

author by Andrewpublication date Mon Jul 30, 2007 22:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Too much bureaucracy in the HSE, from the HQ to the hospital offices. The old Healthboards were abolished and a new centralised HSE replaced them, but no staff reductions followed. This has led to a situation where, anecdotally, fourteen or fifteen office staff now do the work that ten did only a few years ago.
Too many consultants (not the consultant doctors, I hasten to add), and too much money spent on them.
Too many non-medical staff, especially the over-paid, unionised clerical administrators costing the HSE billions in salaries and pension contributions.
Too little responsibilty given to managers. They must be held accountable for failures.

author by ex-HSEpublication date Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let me tell you one thing, a lot of what goes right in the administration is down to those grade 3 and grade 4 clerical officers keeping things patched together despite the indifference or incompetence of very well paid managers above them.

The PPARS project is a good example, cost a fortune, didn't work properly, end-user staff were given minimal training in its use. The consultants were paid a fortune (at taxpayer expense), one of the HSE managers who was paid a fortune to oversee it's implementation, was the most incompetent bully they could have picked to run it. Despite the huge costs, the end user staff, once they started using the system, started finding holes all over it, and pointing these out to the managers (where it was not well received)

In one old healthboard area, there are 10 payroll staff to pay over 12,000 staff (plus another 10 staff, who get over paid to stamp and sign it once the work has been done).
There have been some staff reductions from things like PPARS. And a lot of grade 3 clerical officers were on monthly contracts when I worked there, we got contracts at the start of each month, and had to take it on trust that it would be renewed the following month.

I'm sure there are other examples in the medical areas. where the people doing the real work, are crippled under a bunch of over paid bean counters, who rub shoulders with the politcally appointed sacred cows. The agenda gets done, and if that effects efficiency, even better, to hasten the demise of the public service.

I disagree with Andrew that too little responsibility is given to managers, it's too little accountability that is given to them. They get paid to make decisions, but they gon't get any penalties for screwing up.

Having seen how much some of these consultant doctors get paid, I think it's a disgrace that we allow them to carry out 'private practice' in public hospitals, while we are paying them to treat the public patients.

author by Noel - Nonepublication date Thu Apr 23, 2009 04:08author address Dublinauthor phone 018892052Report this post to the editors

Whether we like it or not , we will always have a two tier health system. People willing to pay for private health insurance expect to get better treatment, otherwise why would they pay the exorbitant private insurance premiums?

I have private health insurance for over 25 years. If I did'nt have it, I would'nt be writing this e-mail. Thats the price you have to pay.

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