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Three doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine increase your risk of Omicron infection by up to 27%, a study has found. Why do the Covid vaccines increase your infection risk? This needs urgently investigating.
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July 2007 issue of The Socialist (#26) now online

category national | miscellaneous | other press author Thursday June 21, 2007 19:58author by SP Online - Socialist Party Report this post to the editors

The July 2007 issue of The Socialist (#26) is now online at the Socialist Party website. See below for contents.
The Socialist #26  - July 2007
The Socialist #26 - July 2007

Contents:

Ireland - South
Public Health warning! Harney is back… Co-location is on the way
Feature: Election and new govt analysis / Economic storm clouds gather over new government
Joe Higgins Column: Green 'radicalism' out - Green Ministers in
Green Capitulation: Trevor Sargent - Another con-man exposed
Public Inquiry now! - Justice for Terence Wheelock
Galway Water - End the crisis!
Education: Secular schools and a place for every child / Grade Inflation
Industrial News: Adverts and helplines, not good enough - We need fighting unions

Ireland - North
Fight for a living wage - Defend public services
Return of Power-sharing: Will the Assembly make a difference? / Water charges... cuts... privatisation... The things they all agree on / A new voice for the working class is needed / Power-sharing internationally - How and why it has failed
Our message to Conor Murphy's review... Scrap Water Charges completely
Stop the deportation of Lordorice Djountso
Industrial News: Postal workers say "yes" to strike action / Anger at proposed pay cut - Classroom assistants prepare to strike / Shift to left at NIPSA Conference / National Shop Stewards' Network to be set up

Socialist Youth News
South: As the Green Party sell out, how can our environment be saved?
North: Young workers demand equal pay - Scrap the youth exemptions!
Come to the Socialist Youth Festival of Resistance in July

International News
Eyewitness reports from the G8 protests in Rostock
Palestine: Hamas and Fatah go to war
South Africa: Biggest strike since ANC took power
Britain: The Brown coronation - New face, same policy

Read the paper online at: http://www.socialistparty.net/pub/pages/thesocialist026...7.htm

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by davekeypublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 20:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When are the socialists going to accept that our public health system is incapable of delivering real services. Demanding more funding is not going to deliver the services required it's just going to end up in the pockets of consultants, drug companies and other vested interests, with whatevers left over finally going towards the patients. Meanwhile, once again, the taxpayers foot the bill.

It would be nice to be living in a socialist nirvana but the reality is that our public service is bloated and inefficient and totally unaccountable to taxpayers and customers.

Do we want a U.S. style health service? Absolutely not, but there has to be a middle ground which offers real service and choice to patients, while not excluding anyone from a prompt and quality delivery.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 08:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

davekey reels out the usual neo-con claptrap-public bad, private good. And yet he attempts to counter the obvious fact that in the USA private health is a disaster and as we speak, over 50 million US citizens have no access at all to any form of health care. The other fact is that Harney is planning the exact same for us here. She intends to grow the for-profit sector modelled on the American system and her denials ring hollow. These is no other privatised model.

"When are the socialists going to accept that our public health system is incapable of delivering real services.'

Never, because socialist put people before profit and do not accept the contention that a private system could be better than a public system. A public system is about service while a private one is about profit.

" Demanding more funding is not going to deliver the services required it's just going to end up in the pockets of consultants, drug companies and other vested interests, with whatevers left over finally going towards the patients. Meanwhile, once again, the taxpayers foot the bill."

This is scare mongering. It is just silly to say that a Health Minister correctly motivated could not tackle these issues and in the course of confronting any such vested interests, the over whelming support of the public would be forthcoming. The fact of the matter is that Mary Harney has no problem with vested interests. The PD policy is all about looking after a small golden circle of vested interests. It is simply dishonest to suggest that Mary Harney has the interests of the people at heart as she sets out to destroy the Health Service. Speculators and the usual array of foreign resident nationals will cherry pick huge profits from the proposed structures that Harney is intent on putting in place. (If she succeeds, want to take any bets that when she finishes with politics that she will not appear on a few Boards associated with the private health services that she is using taxpayers money to put in place?)

"It would be nice to be living in a socialist nirvana but the reality is that our public service is bloated and inefficient and totally unaccountable to taxpayers and customers."

We pay a Health Minister a very large salary to oversee the provision of a health service that is available and accessable at the point of medical need. If she can't do that, then she should resign. In Harney's case, it is not just a matter of her not having the ability to deliver, she has an ideological problem with providing services free at the point of need and the fact that speculators are barred from profiting on suffering and ill health deprives her of sleep. The use of the word "customer" shows extensive exposure to PD proaganda. People in need of medical assistance are not "customers", they are patients, people at the most vulnerable time of their lives.

"Do we want a U.S. style health service? Absolutely not, but there has to be a middle ground which offers real service and choice to patients, while not excluding anyone from a prompt and quality delivery"

Mary Harney's co-location plan will copperfasten a two tier health system. People with money will receive a first class service, as in the USA to-day, however those with little will not, to the point where some individulas will actually receive a death sentence when they become ill, also as in the USA today.What prevents the two tier system from delivering a service with equal access and quality of service is very simple. Answer this question: Why would any citizen pay twice for health services if the public service delivered an equal service that met their needs? Very few would. And that is why Harney will not move to improve the public service. She knows that to do so would retard her plans to grow the private for-profit sector that will allow her constituency to exploit peoples most pressing need, access to health care when ill.
And that is also why, with the co-location sites planned, it would not serve the speculators if the public hospital on the site was offering the same quality of care and access as is intended that the private one will offer. Harney will ensure that the services offered remain unequal so as to protect the market for the speculators and ensure that pressure in maintained on people to take out private medical insurance.

author by Jan van Eyckpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 18:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Socialists do not stand for the maintenance of crap public services. Socialists stand against privatisation and FOR a public health service that will include nationalisation of drugs companies and a system of progressive taxes and big business taxes/nationalisations to pay. Under a socialist system there would be NO profits for drugs firms or privateers as they would be abolished and nationalised.

Too much money is eaten up within the current public health 'service' by private profits for drug firms, private cleaning firms, private security firms, etc. Now Harney wants to give massive state subsidy to Privateers building hospitals only the rich can afford.

Health care should be provided according to the NEEDS of patients and a person's personal wealth should not be a factor in provision of medical care. YOU RIGHTWINGERS DON'T WANT PEOPLE TREATED WHO ARE POOR> YOU TWISTED INDIVIDUALS!

author by Herbalistpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ya, Van Der you are spot on. As a herbalist, in which I make a cream from weeds for minor sprains , bruising pains & Head Lice All natural, no chemicals, I cannot get any form of a grant, so I plod along & do my own thing WITHOUT the help of FF F/G & wait for it, THE GREENS !!!!!!I havn't heard Organic Trevor promote Weeds, Have you?
So there you are..now.........

author by Jan van Eyckpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Make no mistake. I do not in any way defend herbalists. Science has brought society forward. Believing in homeopathy and non-researched herbalism is mysticism and neo-religious. Indeed many herbs will off course be a great benefit to people. This should be researched and should be incorporated into medicine. But I have no time for mystics. I think science and enlightenment is fundamentally progressive and should not be undermined by a creep back to unscientific mystics. The way to fight the corporate system is not by opting out of scientific thought.

I say:
*Nationalisation of the Drug companies and private health care providers.
*A real public Health Service where medical need comes first.
*Democratic control of health service by community and workers.
*Pay Nurses, students, Junior Doctors, etc. a decent wage and reduced workign week.
* Hail Science! for more investment in scientific research to make break throughs in medicine. Funding of research according to Human need and not corporations' greed.

author by Herbalistpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jan Van, I'm curious, are you by any chance employed by the Health Board? or something like that, !!! Sounds you are to the far Right.
As a herbalist I Have done my research on weeds and come up trumps. What I make is an effective cream from a weed & it is a very valuable product and my customers wouldn't be without it. In case they accidently fall & get a minor sprains, or get hit on the face and get marked (bruising (which young children fall all the time, it's handy to have this in the fridge. ) & which grows wild in Ireland , (that's called NATURE not that word you used,(I can't remember what you said) ) , you know 'old mother nature knows best' !!! - & my customer base is from a poor background, honest and happy with my product.I Have you ever hearfd of Nettles, some people get burned by them,they are good blood purifyers too...Years ago didn't people live to be 100, now what is the average age?

author by Platopublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 21:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

isn't it extraordinary how many PD's are around? Boy Jim, you surely rattled a cage or two. Good on yah

author by davekeypublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- “davekey reels out the usual neo-con claptrap-public bad, private good”

Sorry but you are mistaken, I’m certainly not a neo-con.

- “in the USA private health is a disaster”

I couldn’t agree with you more, a friend of mine owes $35,000 for a week in intensive care plus aftercare etc.

- “A public system is about service while a private one is about profit.”

Well we’ve seen how public systems work in this country and it’s not a pretty sight.

- “It is just silly to say that a Health Minister correctly motivated could not tackle these issues and in the course of confronting any such vested interests”

Well this raises a lot of issues for me. How much can a minister really do to change services on the ground. Particularly in a professional organization like the health service were systems and procedures are often beyond reproach. Here’s an example that occurred (I won’t give the specifics): It was an addiction recovery centre which grew organically through mostly voluntary work and received funding from the Health Board. It was a full-time shelter run by the ex-addicts who looked after the day to day tasks under supervision. After several years and when their funding levels was up for renewal they got a letter from the Health Board. They were told in no uncertain terms that the centre was now going to be run by professionals (Addiction Counsellors, Psychologists etc.) as well as maintenance staff or the funding would be cut. They had no choice but to go along with this and in the end the whole ethos was destroyed while the addicts were treated like incompetent patients. Of course the costs went through the roof, but who really oversees this in a public system, who stands up for the taxpayers in a closed loop like this?

- “The use of the word "customer" shows extensive exposure to PD proaganda“.

Again you are mistaken, I’m not a PD supporter nor do I believe the market is God.

Jan van Eyck -

- “nationalisation of drugs companies”

Sorry but this has to be a joke, I don’t see how this could possibly work given the history of drugs companies.

“YOU RIGHTWINGERS DON'T WANT PEOPLE TREATED WHO ARE POOR> YOU TWISTED INDIVIDUALS!”

Calm down!!!! But you are right though it would be better to just put them down :)

Herbalist -

You will never be accepted in a Public Healthcare system were the drugs companies and medical staff want to make everything a medicine, they would make water a medicine needing to be prescribed if they could. Look at what they done to food supplements and various herbs using restrictive EU legislation to stamp out the local suppliers under the guise of health and safety. I don’t know if private health would be any better by I suspect they would be more open to other ideas.

author by herbalpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we herbalist do not recognise EU. IWe recognise, healthy living, weeds from the ground growing wild and not interfered with like F/g F/F pD f& Greens and Europe. . Thats it . Our children are healthy,good figuures,from taking nettle juice, blood clenser (no obese children around here.) Look at of those T Ds Are they healthy looking>
Leftie herbalist

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors


davekey you say,
"Sorry but you are mistaken, I’m certainly not a neo-con."

But you support privatisation of the Health Service ?

You agree that USA private health is a disaster, yet you seem to think that it will be ok here. Explain?

You continue,
"Well we’ve seen how public systems work in this country and it’s not a pretty sight".

Are you saying that Public Systems only don't work here in Ireland? Explain?

You then ask,
"How much can a minister really do to change services on the ground."

As much as a Manager in a Private setting, that is of course providing we have a Minister that is capable and motivated to provide a service. Just replace the end objective, "service" instead of "profit"

You then ask again,
"but who really oversees this in a public system, who stands up for the taxpayers in a closed loop like this?"

The answer, a capable, properly motivated Minister/Government

You then put forward a very weak rebuttal to being chastised for referring to people who are ill as "customers" and again denying that you are a PD.

Well the fact is that PD's regard us all as customers, here to be miilked, and they repeatedly use that word to so discribe us and regarding health matters in particular, the use of that word is at the nub of what is wrong with Harney's plan for the Health Service. Let me explain; Generally, private enterprise only works in the common good when the customer is sovereign. The privateer must satisfy the customer otherwise the customer will take his/her business elsewhere. That is why the natuiral tendancy for those in private business is to create monopolies. This is done by take-overs or by boardroom pacts between what appears to be competing entities. A good example is the car insurance business in Ireland. How that business is run here is that companies who are supposed to be competing for our business, in fact shell out the various sectors by agreeing that they will not compete with each other in those agreed sectors. For example, one young driver will be quoted say 2,000 euro for cover by one crowd, while another will offer the same cover for 1,500 euro. Another category of driver will experience the reverse discrimination with the same two companies. What they are doing is dividing the market , shunting customers to the company that they are supposed to deal with under the boardroom pact. So they don't have to compete for your business. That is also why every year they add a few more categories to the pricing lists. Did you ever ask yourself why two quotes can be so wildly different? Now you know why. So in reality private enterprise is not all that it's cracked up to be regarding serving the common good. In truth, private enterprise generally only serves a small few.
The suggestion that private enterprise might provide a better health service is a dangerous lie. Not only will it be impossible to introduce the "competitive " element, the fact is that a sick person is never sovereign anyway. When we are ill, we depend on others to help us to the best of their ability and with the sole objective of getting us well again. Putting the profit motive into that scenario is grossly irresponsible, as our Americasn cousins are begining to discover.
And as we agree that the American experiment is a disaster, could we not also agree that for a Minister to go down that same road, aside from being the height of incompetance, might even amount to criminal negligence.
And one final point which serves to underline the dangerous road that Harney has taken us on. In the "not for-profit" hospitals that have mushroomed in America, drug companies make donations to these "philantrophic" (another word much loved by Harney) entities, in return for signed agreements to use their drugs only. Remember what I said about privateers constantly working to create monoplies? But the real crime here is, that those who are forced to seek medical aid from these entities are denied access to drugs and medication that will give them a better chance to get well again. That little detail does not worry in the slightest, the private companies involved, much loved household names among them. Now what was that you were suggesting; privatisation in the health service might be better? Better only for Harney's slimeball money grabbers.

author by Jolly Red giant - Socialist Party/CWIpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jan van Eyck said:

'Make no mistake. I do not in any way defend herbalists. Science has brought society forward. Believing in homeopathy and non-researched herbalism is mysticism and neo-religious.'

There are many examples of alternative remedies working more effectively than conventional treatments. Homeopathy, for example, has significantly greater success in the treatment of whooping cough than conventional medicine. Veterinary homeopathy has significantly greater levels of success than conventional drugs in preventing mastitis in cattle. A Bach flower remedy called 'rescue remedy' has proved effective for anxiety. Chinese herbal medicine has a history going back thousands of year prior to conventional western medicine.

The primary reason for the attack on alternative forms of treatment by conventional medicine is money. Firstly, it would be impossible for drug companies to make the huge profits they currently make if alternative therapies were common place. Secondly, the use of alternative medicine actually reduces the 'mysticism' around the wisdom of western conventional medicine.

I am not suggesting for one moment that every alternative therapy be taken at face value, just as I don't take very conventional therapy at face value either. But the removal of medicine from the control of private corporations would allow for proper research into every aspect of healthcare without the profit motive creating a bias against one form or another.

author by Herbalistpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thr majority of people now come to us. It's something people do not talk about. For example, I am a herbalist & I make a lotion for children who get Head Lice from schoold with oils and lavender weeds. It's hralthy for the hair growth not alone kills the lice. All of us use oils on our bodies, but we are very selective in what we use. No side effects, job is done instantly. Look at the tablet mentioned on radio for depression, causing other side effects Is that what you call science?

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you are going to make wild statements about the effectiveness of small capsules of water in treating illness, Jolly Red Giant, please remember to say that you are posting in a personal capacity! The Socialist Party does not have an agreed position on the scientific merits of any form of alternative medicine and, in the unlikely event that we were to develop one, I would argue strongly against giving credence to what someone above aptly described as mysticism.

That doesn't mean that I'm dismissive of all forms of treatment which are currently described as alternative. Some herbs for instance contain naturally occurring active ingredients and they should be investigated and tested in the same way as normal medicines. However the record under scientific testing of the vast majority of forms of alternative remedies has been very poor. That includes homeopathy.

I would be interested in seeing the two specific, limited, claims you make for homeopathy (mastitis in cattle, whooping cough in children) substantiated. Can you provide links to any scientific studies (ie not articles on pro-homeopathy websites) which support these claims?

author by Herbalistpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I recommend Garlic & Nettles for colds/ flues purifies the blood, hence no colds
Dandelion (piss the bed) Yellow wild beautiful flour (like van goughs) for cancer & the like, full of potassium and vitamins
Anything else I would be happy to assist.
My cream for sprains & black eyes is from weeds I make it on my own farm free from all scientific laboratories & plastics. I only use brown paper bags Swelling goes down in 60 minutes, no embarrassing faces on women well some

author by Jan van Eyckpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 14:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Homeopathy, for example, has significantly greater success in the treatment of whooping cough than conventional medicine. "

CLAPTRAP. Homeopathey is nothing but rubbish. How can dilluting a substance increase its potantcy? Who carried out that Research? Santa Claus and the Toothfairy? Homeopathy flies completely in the face of science and common sense. I wonder how "Jolly Red Giant" can call him/herself a socialist with wild unscientific views like that. I have pointed out that I think research should be done in longer establihsed herbal remedies. But it has to be based on science and research. I believe that homoepathy is merely abuse of people that are ill and cannot find a cure under existing medical science. It's like some kind of twisted scientific religion.

HAIL SCIENCE

author by Jan van Eyckpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Herbalist recommends different sources of pottassium, etc. If I have a need for potassium then why can't I just take potassium supplements or alter my diet. There is NO NEED to eat weeds! That was okay in the Middle Ages when human knowledge had not advanced to level it is today (and will be in future). Ye nutters are so full of your own middle class twaddle that you are actually reducing your standard of living.

Science and Research is the way forward!
No need to regress to middle age understanding!

author by Herbs/Weedspublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Herbalist - Quit Your Jibber Jabber!
by Jan van Eyck

I say as a herbalist

Jan van, you shouldthen tst the Piss the Bed.Go out and pull a few dandelions now and infuse them in boiling water fora while, then drink tthe juice..If you have toxins in your blood, the Piss the bed will sure clean you out!!!
Now, I do not recomend you drink the stuff tonight, ......
Now, that is what I call real science, try it & let's know your results

I know nothing about Homeotherapy...only weeds, nettles & thistles & Coppogs

Gathering weeds and a therapy, away from the dusta & oil pollutants, petrol in towns & cities. We are healthy, energetic, good fun. and enjoy the crack!!!

(those beauties bestowed on us, natures way)

author by davekeypublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- “But you support privatisation of the Health Service ?
You agree that USA private health is a disaster, yet you seem to think that it will be ok here. Explain?”

I believe there should be a two tier health system, if people want to use private hospitals then they should be allowed to do so. We already have a two tier GP care system were most of the time taxpayers have to pay for it while medical card holders don’t.
I think it’s a fallacy to compare here to the US, they have a completely different psyche and don’t believe in most cases of government providing any services. Look what happened when Clinton tried to bring in free medical care, he was blasted by the vested interests and more importantly the middle/working class taxpayers.

- “Are you saying that Public Systems only don't work here in Ireland? Explain?”

Public systems here are generally a disaster, there doesn’t seem to be any accountability to taxpayers and all decisions are politically motivated. For example look at the ESB, in the last price increase it came out that some of the workers in Poolbeg were earning €150K, well I don’t know about you but if I worked 24/7/365 I still wouldn’t earn that. Public service employees are much better off and in many cases subsidised by the private sector taxpayers.

- “You then put forward a very weak rebuttal to being chastised for referring to people who are ill as "customers" and again denying that you are a PD.”

My original statement was: “our public service is bloated and inefficient and totally unaccountable to taxpayers and customers.” which is a broad statement and refers to the fact that we are either paying for the service as taxpayers, or as customers (ESB, Iarnrod Eireann)), so please take off your PD lenses.

- “The suggestion that private enterprise might provide a better health service is a dangerous lie. Not only will it be impossible to introduce the "competitive " element, the fact is that a sick person is never sovereign anyway”…”Putting the profit motive into that scenario is grossly irresponsible”.

You can’t seem to get your head around the fact that our health service is already used for profiteering. The drugs/medical industry is a very profitable monopoly industry. Trying to get politicians who couldn’t care less about the citizens to try and stand up to this is futile. As another example look at our Psychiatric Hospitals. I live near one and used to visit there regularly. Every time I went in it was the same patients there, some for 20+ years walking down the corridors up to their eyes in drugs. The drugs companies are obviously making huge profits off these people as are the consultants with their ‘tests‘ and ‘reports’ etc, off course there’s no attempt to rehabilitate these people, that wouldn’t be good for the bottom line.

You make a lot of good points about competition and the free market, however I assume the private hospitals would be accountable to the insurance industry. These people would be much sharper at making sure there’s real competition than politicians or beaurocrats ever could.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps at the core of our disagreement is a lack of understanding of the fundementals of the debate.

"I believe there should be a two tier health system, if people want to use private hospitals then they should be allowed to do so. We already have a two tier GP care system were most of the time taxpayers have to pay for it while medical card holders don’t."

The GP system is not a two tier system. On the contrary, the system provides access to a GP regardless of ability to pay. Whether people want to use private hospitals is of course a matter for them however with Harney's plan , we the taxpayer will contribute substanially to the provision of the necessary infrastructure and will pay to sustain the private facilities through the buying of services by the government on an ongoing basis. The real injustice is the creation of two waiting lists. People with money will receive prompt attention while those that have little will have to wait in line. And lets be very clear on the issue of queue jumping. If a patient is admited to the private co-located hospital and thereafter it is necessary to transfer that patient to the public hospital, this will happen immediately regardless of the fact that there will be public patients already waiting longer.

"I think it’s a fallacy to compare here to the US, they have a completely different psyche and don’t believe in most cases of government providing any services"

Citizens of the US have no different a psyche than we have. All that has occurred there is that the "greed is good" merchants are in control. Like the PD constitunecy here, that element they do not believe in any civilised sharing of resources.

"Public systems here are generally a disaster, there doesn’t seem to be any accountability to taxpayers and all decisions are politically motivated."

Even if this assertion is true, that could not justify compounding the problems by creating injustice. If public services are being run inefficiently, it is up to government to correct that. Removing services or privatising them, which will lead in the case of the health service to the possibility that fellow citizens could die waiting for treatment as the moneyed queue jump, is a crazy way to address the problem.

"You can’t seem to get your head around the fact that our health service is already used for profiteering."

I know. That's why it needs to be honestly addressed and stopped. Harney has no intention of tackling this problem, she intends to make it worse by growing for-profit activities

' The drugs companies are obviously making huge profits off these people as are the consultants with their ‘tests‘ and ‘reports’ etc, off course there’s no attempt to rehabilitate these people, that wouldn’t be good for the bottom line.'

What you are claiming here amounts to abuse of patients. You should bring this to the attention of the Garda immediately.

What a civilised community ought to aspire to is the creation of a health service that people can have equal access to when they need it. It is profoundly disturbing that we have a Minister for Health who is actually working to grow injustice by creating greater inequity at the vital point of access.

author by davekeypublication date Sun Jul 01, 2007 20:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- “The GP system is not a two tier system”

It’s a two tier system in the sense that some people have to pay while others don’t. In my experience those that don’t pay use the service much more, even for minor ailments.

- “we the taxpayer will contribute substanially to the provision of the necessary infrastructure and will pay to sustain the private facilities through the buying of services by the government on an ongoing basis.”

Can you please expand on this, what services will be bought?

- “People with money will receive prompt attention while those that have little will have to wait in line”

Well to be honest I don’t see any problem with this, people are already queuing for these services, perhaps it will free up the public hospitals.

- “Citizens of the US have no different a psyche than we have. All that has occurred there is that the "greed is good" merchants are in control”

I disagree here, people in the US don’t like their tax dollars being used for free health care or social services. Yes it really benefit’s the elites but it is the prevailing attitude of the upper/middle/working class taxpayers and capitalist ethos of the country.

- “that fellow citizens could die waiting for treatment as the moneyed queue jump”

I think you are being a bit dramatic here.

- “What you are claiming here amounts to abuse of patients. You should bring this to the attention of the Garda immediately.”

I think you are being cynical here. However, you may recall the Hepatitis C scandal which is a good example of public health. Nobody was prosecuted, nobody was fired, no accountability and of course ONCE AGAIN the taxpayers had to foot the bill. Worst of all, this or similar scandals could easily surface again and nobody would bat an eyelid.

- “That's why it needs to be honestly addressed and stopped. Harney has no intention of tackling this problem”

You keep referring to Harney as if she’s the cause, this has been going on for years without any politician sorting it out. Frankly I believe sending in politicians or beaurocrats to try and deal with the drugs/medical cartel is like sending sheep in to control a pack of wolves. I honestly don’t know what she or any other politician could do to address the underlying problems in our health service. I’m not criticizing the frontline staff (nurses, GPs…) but the people who have a vested interest to keep it as it is for their profiteering and control. They simply have too much power. It would probably have to be completely dismantled and started again from scratch, nobody would have the guts to do this.

What’s the SWP view on this?

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 09:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Dear davekey,

The GP system is not a two tier system-full stop.
You observe,
"It’s a two tier system in the sense that some people have to pay while others don’t. In my experience those that don’t pay use the service much more, even for minor ailments."

This is classic neo-con, and despite your denials,PD thinking. How do you propose to address "your experience" of those who qualify for medical cards using the system "even for minor aliments"? Where should they go to get their "minor ailments" treated?

Regarding the State supporting the private co-located hospitals, you ask,
"Can you please expand on this, what services will be bought?"

The NPTF will be used to guarantee privateers a constant supply of public patients to keep the tills ringing. And Harney has no problem with this despite the fact that it amounts to the taxpayer paying twice.

(“People with money will receive prompt attention while those that have little will have to wait in line”)
You respond to this with,
"Well to be honest I don’t see any problem with this, people are already queuing for these services, perhaps it will free up the public hospitals."

Once again classic PD ideology, people with money are more worthy.

(“Citizens of the US have no different a psyche than we have. All that has occurred there is that the "greed is good" merchants are in control”)
You reply to this,
"I disagree here, people in the US don’t like their tax dollars being used for free health care or social services."

This is not true. The average American citizen is just as capable of offering the hand of assistance to a fellow in troube, just as anywhere else. There is a growing view that health care should be available to all when needed. There are a number of campaigns currently on the go to that end. What they are fighting is a small band of the very wealthy who control everything and like the PD ideology, have no desire to share the wealth of the nation.

(“that fellow citizens could die waiting for treatment as the moneyed queue jump”)
You reply,
"I think you are being a bit dramatic here."

There are many cases of people whose diagnoses was too late, due to waiting times to see a consultant. All of these cases involve people who where depending on the public system.

“What you are claiming here amounts to abuse of patients. You should bring this to the attention of the Garda immediately.”
you reply to this,
"I think you are being cynical here."

I most certainly am not. The matter you raised is criminal abuse and should be reported.

You then go on with this,
"However, you may recall the Hepatitis C scandal which is a good example of public health. Nobody was prosecuted, nobody was fired, no accountability and of course ONCE AGAIN the taxpayers had to foot the bill. Worst of all, this or similar scandals could easily surface again and nobody would bat an eyelid."

This episode is not a good example of anything. What occurred could just as easily have happened regardless of the system. There are any amount of horror stories from the private practises of America. Regarding "accountability", this is a matter for those in power.

(“That's why it needs to be honestly addressed and stopped. Harney has no intention of tackling this problem”)
You reply,
"You keep referring to Harney as if she’s the cause, this has been going on for years without any politician sorting it out."

Harney has been in power for ten years during which we have experienced enormous growth in the wealth of the country.The opportunity to provide a health service free at the point of need, is there. The reason that we haven't got it is ideolgy. Harney's constituency consists of the wealthy 3% of the population who have totally embraced the "greed is good" ideology.

You then put forward this,
" but the people who have a vested interest to keep it as it is for their profiteering and control. They simply have too much power. It would probably have to be completely dismantled and started again from scratch, nobody would have the guts to do this."

This appears to suggest that you agree that the two tier system in wrong, (I go future and say it is evil,) and needs to be changed but you suggest that this can't be done because of vested interests. Of course at the heart of the problem is vested interests, but what you have failed to grasp is that the PD's represent these vested interests. They are the 3% who vote for the PD's. The co-location plan is all about protecting those interests and ensuring that there is a private element entwined with the public one. Why not simply remove all private activity from the public system? Co-location will copperfasten the two tier system.

Is it really beyond our competance to provide basic vital services which people can have equal access to when needed? What is the impediment to creating such a system?

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People interested in the kind of debate on this thread may wish to know of an attempt, by Patrick Wood of www.NewsWithViews.com, to accurately identify the really "big players" behind them (i.e. Health Care, PPP Toll Road, Water Privatisation schemes, etc).

The following is an extract from one of his pieces:

"Every bit of thirty-five years of research indicates that there is a relatively small yet diverse group of global players who have been the planners and instigators behind globalization for many decades. The primary driving force that moves this 'clique' is greed; the secondary force is the lust for power. In the case of the academics who are key to globalism, a third force is professional recognition and acceptance (a subtle form of egoism and power.)"

The full text of the particular piece in question can be viewed at http://www.newswithviews.com/Wood/patrick6.htm .

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com
author by davekeypublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 17:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- “How do you propose to address "your experience" of those who qualify for medical cards using the system "even for minor aliments"? Where should they go to get their "minor ailments" treated?”

I was pointing out what I see and haven’t any proposals about this.

- “privateers a constant supply of public patients to keep the tills ringing. And Harney has no problem with this despite the fact that it amounts to the taxpayer paying twice.”

Well I think you know where I’m going with this one - so much for your ‘two tier’ health service, with the ‘moneyed queue jumping’. I also don’t know how you can say the taxpayers will pay twice, this seems like a very tenuous link.

- “The average American citizen is just as capable of offering the hand of assistance to a fellow in troube, just as anywhere else.”

I didn’t say they weren’t but I’m talking about the overall ethos. Most Americans don’t believe in hand-outs or expecting the government to do anything for them. They believe in working and paying your own way and have zero tolerance for people who don’t work or collect benefits. This is alien to our view but is how they are reared. It may be changing though because of the destruction of the middle classes and high unemployment.

- “ There are many cases of people whose diagnoses was too late, due to waiting times to see a consultant. All of these cases involve people who where depending on the public system.”

Well I suggest you report this to the Garda immediately.

Re- Hepatitis C “What occurred could just as easily have happened regardless of the system. There are any amount of horror stories from the private practises of America. Regarding "accountability", this is a matter for those in power.”

Well I would question this, if it was a private hospital and liable for prosecution and costs there would have been much better procedures in place. Individuals would be much more accountable and any reports would be treated seriously. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen just there would be more accountability. At the very least the criminally negligent would be fired.

- “This appears to suggest that you agree that the two tier system in wrong, (I go future and say it is evil,) and needs to be changed but you suggest that this can't be done because of vested interests. Of course at the heart of the problem is vested interests”

I was referring to the vested interests in the public service. Your main problem seems to be that people will make money from our health system, yet the way I see it people already are and what always happens is they screw the government more than they would private companies. Look at what the consultants are trying to do to block new contracts, if this was the private sector they’d be told where to go very quickly, it’s absurd how powerful these people have become. It seems to me from this proposed system many of the patients will be much better off. The wealthier can decide to opt for private care if they wish and the poorer will have a much better chance of being seen to quicker and may end up in private care without having to spend a penny. This seems like a generous proposal to me. Of course it all depends on how much Harney gives away here, the details of the proposal, but in theory it looks good.

- “Is it really beyond our competance to provide basic vital services which people can have equal access to when needed? What is the impediment to creating such a system?”

Well that’s the million dollar question. My answer is that the only way the public health system will get its act together is when the patients start disappearing to private hospitals. Then they’ll start waking up and getting things done. In my book it’s called ‘motivation’, it’s not always pretty but it works.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Theres no point in going around in circles particularly as you are very good at identifying problems but appear clueless as to how to resolve them. For example, when challanged on your observation that people with medical cards over-use the system, all we got was the reply,
"I was pointing out what I see and haven’t any proposals about this"
The "observation" has in truth more to do with PD ideological prejudice than anything else.

And your view of Americans is preceisely how Harney herself sees them.
"I didn’t say they weren’t but I’m talking about the overall ethos. Most Americans don’t believe in hand-outs or expecting the government to do anything for them. They believe in working and paying your own way and have zero tolerance for people who don’t work or collect benefits."

This is the "rugged individual" ideology that resides at the core of all Harney's political thinking. Harney too has "zero tolerance for people who don't work or collect benefits" and when sweeping statements like this are made it is intended to convey the notion that all those in such positions have a choice in the matter. While there may be small numbers swinging the lead the vast majority are stuck in a position that they would rather not be in but neo-con propagandists fail to point that out and tar all with the same brush.

You repeatedly state that public servants are inept ,as in the Hepatiis C point you raise, suggesting that this could not have occurred if private enterprise was involved. Yet all studies that are taken comparing public and private activity shows that the public efficiency levels are every bit as good as the private. The problem is that with prominent people like Harney constantly running down the public service, this proposition is becomning accepted wisdom in the lazy mind.
You even go on to suggest that there are "vested interests" within the civil service that are preventing the creation of a quality health service accessable by all
"I was referring to the vested interests in the public service" The is Harry Lime stuff that really ought not to be in this discussion.

The following statement shows the reality of where you are coming from and the difference between us,
"The wealthier can decide to opt for private care if they wish and the poorer will have a much better chance of being seen to quicker"
There should be no element of "chance" for the "poorer" in the health system. He/she should receive whatever treatment is needed as quickly as the illness requires. To suggest that the "poorer" might have to wait for the "wealthier" to vacate a bed is to say that we live in a vulgar, uncivilised mire. And lets be clear on the fundamental point; we as a society have the wherewithall to put in place a Health Service that only recognises people and there maladies and treats them in accordance with their clinical need with dignity and equality. Harney is hell bent on putting in place a system that segragates citizens based on their wealth and treats them accordingly. This is immoral.

author by davekeypublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- “Theres no point in going around in circles particularly as you are very good at identifying problems but appear clueless as to how to resolve them.”

Frankly I haven’t heard you come up with any solutions whatsoever except idealistic statements about what should be. This would be great if we lived in an ideal world but we don’t and so we have to be pragmatic in our solutions.

Most of your posts have been about trying to dismiss me as a PD, Neo-Con globalist of which I’m neither. You have used what I wrote about US ethos to make me guilty by association, when I clearly stated that that was their ethos and how they are reared and alien to our beliefs and this was about clarifying the differences from earlier posts.

- “The problem is that with prominent people like Harney constantly running down the public service, this proposition is becomning accepted wisdom in the lazy mind.
You even go on to suggest that there are "vested interests" within the civil service that are preventing the creation of a quality health service accessable by all”

I already gave several examples of this so it’s not that farfetched as you wish to make it out to be. It’s clear to me there’s not a level playing field here and there’s a wide disparity between the Public and Private sectors and it’s growing wider because of a tightening job’s market. As a taxpayer it really pisses me off.

- “The following statement shows the reality of where you are coming from and the difference between us,
"The wealthier can decide to opt for private care if they wish and the poorer will have a much better chance of being seen to quicker"“

Whether you like it or not the current system isn’t working, but rather than address this issue objectively you want to impose a socialist model onto it. You would rather see the creaking system we have now with long waiting lists, as long as your ideology is maintained. Anyone who doesn’t adhere to this moral high ground is guilty of inhumanity. Even if the new system works you will still maintain this attitude, despite the end of queues.

- “And lets be clear on the fundamental point; we as a society have the wherewithall to put in place a Health Service that only recognises people and there maladies and treats them in accordance with their clinical need with dignity and equality”

Again this illustrates your idealistic approach to this. Yes we all want such a service but it’s not reflected in the reality on the ground and statements like this won’t make it so.

Anyway you are right, we are going around in circles here and have completely different viewpoints. It has been informative and an interesting debate. Thanks!

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Tue Jul 03, 2007 08:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When the foam is cleared away, what you are saying is that you favour a system that is discriminatory and favours those with money. You attempt to excuse this obnoxious view by suggesting that the provision of a first class health service with equality of access and quality of treatment cannot be done. The fact is however that there are many examples of "solutions" in the world of such services being delivered under the control of the public sector. In fact in Canada, the "two tier" system is illegal because it contravenes the notion of equality. So stop saying that it can't be done, it is being done.The reason that we have a two tier system here is because the will to create a society of equals is not there. Right across the power strata we see self interest centre stage. Tribunals testify daily to this reality.
Segragating ill people and delivering different standards of care is not new. It is the return to Victorian values. That seems to be acceptable to you as you condemn the provision of services with the usual cry, "As a taxpayer it really pisses me off." You will never hear a person waiting for heart surgary bleat out statements like that.

I will leave you with words of a wise observer to ponder;
"If enlightened self-interest is the principle of all morality it is necessary for the private interest of each person to coincide with the general interest."

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