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Spirit of Contradiction

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Mary Harney should resign

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Monday May 08, 2006 18:23author by people before profit - people before profit Report this post to the editors

Put health before profit

People Before Profit Alliance (Health Action Group):

It is time for Mary Harney to resign.

Last weekend nurses at the annual conference of the Irish Nurses
Organisation (INO) passed a motion of no confidence in Minister Mary Harney.
The nurses' motion blamed her for failing to deal with the trolley
crisis and “her negative attitude” towards nurses.

Nurses rejected "the cosy consensus" of the social partnership approach
to nurses' conditions and the privatisation of the health service. They
are demanding a 35 hour week and parity of pay with other therapists.
These demands are vital to ensure the retention of nurses and to ensure
safe conditions for patients.

At the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) conference three weeks ago Dr
Fergus O'Ferrall called on the Government to publish any research behind
the funding of ‘for-profit’ hospitals with billions in tax-breaks.
O'Ferrall blamed Mary Harney's "neoliberal ideals" for putting profits
before people.

Of course Mary Harney’s plan has no evidence because ‘for-profit’
hospitals are for making profits not for good healthcare. The crisis in the
health service is now a national emergency according to Harney. But
isn’t she in charge of it?

Harney's refusal to fund public beds and running down the public
service is not an error for her -- it is the plan. It is designed to scare
people into buying health insurance and to force patients to 'go
private'. In a for-profit health system like in the US, Health Insurance for an
average family now costs over €10,000 per year!

The US is number one for health spending but 22nd (out of 22 OECD
countries) for health. This makes it the most inefficient health service in
the developed world. International research repeatedly shows that the
bureaucracy, fees, executive pay and massive corporate profits can
account for over one third of healthcare costs!

The People Before Profit Alliance has responded to the current crisis
by setting up a Health Action Group to campaign for a publicly funded
state of the art Health Service. The Neoliberal ideology that Harney and
this government follow puts profits, privatisation, markets and
tax-cuts for the rich before the quality of health and safety of children, the
sick and the elderly.

The Health Action Group is calling for support for health service
workers who defend their conditions and stand up to this government's
profiteering. We call on all campaigns to work together to stop Harney's
neoliberal drive to privatise the health service.

Signed: Pat Fitzgerald,
Dr Peadar O'Grady,
Health Action Group,
People before Profit Alliance,

*Discuss the corporate take over of Ireland at our public meeting this Friday, May 12th at 7.30pm in Cassidys Hotel, O Connell St.

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author by Aidan Kennedy - Progressive Demovcratspublication date Tue May 09, 2006 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was shocked to see that there is 624 healthty people holding on to beds in our various hospitals despite them being declared fit to return home.

These people of all ages and backgrounds choose to stay in a public ward rather than return to an empty home or care centre.

Indeed one poor senior citizen had her home taken from her by a greedy family member while she was in Hospital, while I have being informed by some other old folk that their families refuse to care for them and instead dump their aged parents on the mercy of the state.

The above is bad enough but while these beds are being hogged by fit people, sick people are queing up outside and being denied treatment due to social greed rather than a caring Minister who actualy shares her caring for an aged infirm Mother with the rest of her family.

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author by Shipseapublication date Tue May 09, 2006 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Either the previous comment is a brilliant parody or it is yet another example of how, whenever they open their mouths to speak, Progressive Democrats are incapable of anything other than mean-spiritedness and contempt. Now, for instance, it is the fault of elderly people and/or their families if they are unable to go home. Mr Kennedy would like to persuade everybody that this is down to callous family members. The fact is that carers of elderly people often have jobs and children to see to as well. They need vital community supports for their elderly parents if living at home is to be possible. In my experience, delays in setting up those supports by social workers (under-resourced too) and others is most often what keeps an elderly person in hospital longer than is deemed medically necessary. And if Mary Harney is so familiar with the problems, you'd think she'd show at least some empathy with people coping with these situations, now she is Minister for Health. Or does she expect other people to give up work completely for a life of poverty and caring? Mary Harney will never have to face that choice as thousands of people in Ireland have had to. Fact is, PDs are full of contempt for ordinary people and the post above is a first class example of it.

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