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PD Failures in Women's Health Issues

category national | consumer issues | opinion/analysis author Tuesday November 06, 2007 18:39author by C Murray Report this post to the editors

From Neary to Porlaoise Via Sligo.

On the 04/09/07 there was a press release detailing a possible mis-diagnosis problem in relation to the mammogram service at Portlaoise Hospital, the press release said that there were possibly 5,000 women effected and there was no press release from Mary Harney's Department. The Hospital board and the HSE managed the timed release of materials including the fact that many of the patients had been on the Treatment Purchase Fund Scheme. This info emanated in the direct aftermath of Ms Harney's travelling to Barrington's Hospital in Cork where up to 1,000 women were similarly effected. Today there is a press release from DOHC which is written in response to emergent details of 8 women with a diagnosis of cancer who had been cleared and 19 awaiting second opinions.

New Website pic
New Website pic

A quick look back at 2006:-

Two rape victims in Sligo were transported to Dublin for forensic examination due to the closure of dedicated RCC and trauma units in that County, the DOHC had not been funding the units and did not allow for the training of forensic nurses in their capitation. The women were sent to the already over-stretched Rotunda Sexual Assault unit in Dublin.

In 2006 DOHC brought in a scaled compensation package for women who had caesarian sections and ovary removal by Dr Michael Neary, the woman at the head of our health department allowed for a sliding scheme wherin a woman who had removal of her uterus as a result of unecessary section at the end of her reproductive cycle got less than a young woman who had the same procedure at the beginning of the cycle thereby underscoring the value of her in terms of her abilty to reproduce. Interestingly no-one commented on this sly and indifferent commodification of women by MH.

Dr Neary is now facing criminal charges whilst the whole system that held him in place in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital is still there and only two consultants who had not stopped or queried the removal of healthy uterus' and ovaries have 'retired' and are on pension packages.

The DOHC also promulgated an amalgamation programme, termed The Creation of Centres of Excellence for Health Care on three major Dublin Hospitals without delineating a programme for emergency care in the areas where hospitals will be lost;-

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81630 ST Luke's, Crumlin Children's Hospital and Tallaght are effected, with no reply from either DOHC nor the HSE on provision of breathing clinics, wound dressing or dedicated emergency centres in the absence of A+E's.

The reply from Harney and HSE are in the links at:- http://www.indymedia.ie/srticle/81630

Today in the Dail Bertie is insistent that the only reply to the issue is further amalgamation whilst ignoring the issue of the two tier health system which has failed women with children in this state. He also says that a second opinion is necessary in terms of radiography without explaining how this will be provisioned in a collapsed health system which is run by a business woman and a highly paid unelected HSE- who are mandated by no-one to carry out huge decisions that effect everyone in the state and without recourse to the electorate.

Between the 4th of September 2007 and today there has been absolutely no responsibility taken by DOHC and indeed for ten crucial days Mary Harney completely dissappeared without leaving her junior in charge of responding or releasing information to people who are facing enormous issues with repurcussions for their children and extended < families.not one opposition TD asked for Ms Harney's resignation today, but waffled on about primary care and insurances. The huge difference between Ms Harney's travelling to Cork to assure patients that DOHC would explore the issue and her mismanagement of The Midland's Hospital issue indicates in practice a complete disregard for patient welfare unalleviated by any concern for patient care.

author by C Murraypublication date Wed Nov 07, 2007 09:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The usual spin and media management of the current government is evolving rapidly in relation to it's abdication of
duty of care to the health of women with a Dail debate scheduled for today, in which all aspects of the issue of (now three)
units which are press releasing on the issue of breast cancer. The absence however from debate of the unmandated HSE and its over-
salaried boss (Prof Drumm) makes it a joke. The only good that may come of any debate is the setting up of a cross-party
committee on provision of adequate women's services and its too important an issue to leave to FF/PD/Green. There should
also be an investigation into how money is spent across DOHC and HSE because they had ten years to provide
healthcare and have suceeded in depriving large sections of the population through amalgamation and reduction in local
services. In the ten years of FF/PD there has been no intelligent plan regarding education or health with a complete dedication
to increasing wealth whilst depriving people of essential services. This includes the issues mentioned in the article above
along with the closure of maternity units in Cavan leading to an infant death, through the run-down in services leading to
patients in the Rotunda Maternity hospital being housed in a hotel without adequate resources or pay for midwifery staff.
PD health policy has shown itself to be both inadequate and dangerous indicated in the plans to amalgamate
A+E services in Dublin without providing local units to communities in their absence, with Crumlin hospital being
moved to the Mater site which has not the infrastructure to cope with a National Children's Hospital and the only virtue
evident in the move is that it's supposed centre of excellence is within the Taoiseach's own constituency and will attract
big salaried consultants and pharmaceutical companies.The tendering process for the Mater site has like other issues
been subject to questioning also.The Board of Our Lady's refused to take part in the move and voted against the site on the
grounds of transport and inadequate infrastructural development, pointing out quite rightly that patients would have
to drive round it up to seven times to access the proposed hospital which is in a car-park and does not have garden
or walking failities for recovering kids. Tallaght Board, meanwhile are demanding that essential services are in place before
their proposed amalgamation also. The unit in Cork was delayed due to the refusal of nurses and nurse managers to
train staff during the election campaign when they had not been familiarised with the buildings, fire escapes and
staffing rotas for the new unit in cork which was the result of five maternity units being centralised in the city.

author by Hugh Murphy - Sacked by ITGWU and Belfast employerspublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a genuine expression of solidarity with the misdiagnosed women in the recent cancer scare, and as a way of getting back some credibility, the government should donate their recent pay rise to updating the old X ray screening equipment.

So as not to cause offence, they should donate by cheque and avoid brown envelopes

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prof Drumm is in the Dail answering questions, I think its gone way beyond donations at this point
the issue of why a FF/PD government highlights fast-track planning, sport, and war whilst
running down critical services is something that can not be changed by brown envelopes when
indeed those lobbyists contributed to the problem in the first place. I speak as someone who
has witnessed at first hand the suffering to family and close friends in the issue of cancer
diagnosis. Interestingly Bertie accused the opposition of politicising the issues, which begs
the question- does he know what mandate is or what responsibility is?
These are political issues- the area between Dolphin's Barn to Tallaght, and from
Drimnagh to Dundrum (which is currently serviced by up to four hospitals will have a series
of amalgamations reducing the services to one major hospital and the Mater complex- that
is PD health policy in action through the aegis of the unmandated HSE).

There will be no planned acute services in Crumlin and Tallaght is fighting for their retention.
In the meantime 8 women are struggling with cancer and 19 are awaiting opinion, the
Rotunda (both maternity and sex assault unit is run down) and maternity services are
at a low ebb with women still birthing in ambulances.

It is highly political to expect to produce a programme for government which disavows
half the population in an attempt to put patient care beneath and behind salary, pharmaceutical
corporatism and staff moral. Mary Harney should resign- she mismanaged the health
service and she put profit ahead of excellence.

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.dublinmapped.com is an interactive site which maps the greater Dublin area and you can
scroll through the areas effected by amalgamation and see the population density where
acute services will be lessened. The response by Mary harney to the Dail question
regarding the loss of the Lukedoc breathing and GP services was handed on to the HSE which
did not furnish a response either.

1. St Luke's Cancer Hospital is to be amalgamated with St James hospital, St Luke's Houses
an after hour contactors service called Lukedoc which does breathing/respiratory/wound dressing
and out of hours GP (primary care), the proposed 2012 amalgamation does not envisage (as yet)
another location for these services. This is in response to a parliamentary question put down on
my behalf by Gormley {will add in link].

2. Our lady's Hospital for Sick Children is to be amalgamated/located in the Mater car-park
instead of a greenfield site, this will deprive a huge area with a young population
of many kids of desparately needed A+E and primary care services. Patients come from
South West and South Central Dublin and include many kids with CF and cancers. They
also come to Our Lady's from the regions. The board want change of campus but are unaccepting
of the Mater site and with the loss to the community there is as yet no stated plan by HSE
to leave an acute service to deal with the area.

3. Tallaght (up for amalgamation) the board want acute services in place before a move.
This was press-released in I.T within the last two weeks.

4.St James will become a huge complex with the amalgamated St Luke's Part of the deal
it is not set up for Children's speciality nor for after hours primary care.

The HSE nor the DOHC have said what will replace these hospitals and what is being built
on the properties that are being vacated to allow for amalgamations.

The issue of Cavan/Monaghan caused a protest of 10,000 people late last year and
a sit down protest at the Taoiseach's Department and women in Donegal are asking
why breast cancer services are again being ignored in the county.

During the election campaign Minister Mc Dowell had a printed response on two posters
to constituency questions regarding St Luke's displayed in the double windows of his offices
they were not published on his web-site nor published in leaflet form. People in DSE
are well pissed off at the proposed loss of St Luke's and people in Dolphin's Barn are
questioning the loss of our Lady's in Crumlin, the areas set for deprivation are hugely

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 16:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The address for written queries regarding amalgamations:-

National Hospitals Office
Health Service Executive
Mill Lane
Dublin 20

tel:- +353 1 6201740
fax:- + 353 1 6201627

The letter to HSE forwarded by Minister Harney to the HSE is dated 20th April 2007.
ref:- DOHC ref 10733/07

I am not publishing it here but to say that it was a parlimentary question asking about
relocation of the Lukedoc service and that the answer was unsatisfactory.

Louise Mc Mahon is the hospital network manager for the Dublin area.

The board of Crumlin Hospital voted against the Mater site in the summer months
because of patient care issues, these have not met with response from HSE nor DOHC.
The amalgamation process has not to either the satsfaction of the board at Our Lady's
or Tallaght furnished them with adequate replies as to the placing of A+E and community
care facilites in the absence of those services. The issues are searchable through the
Irish mainstream media, but I have noted no press release from either Hospital board
claiming satisfaction with how the process of amalgamation is being carried out. Professor
drumm had a 4 and half hour annual meeting with a cross party committee in the Oireachtas
today, many of the TD's said that time allotted and the structure of that forum did not allow
for the issue of the Midland's Hospital to be explored.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Nov 08, 2007 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

C Murray you seem obsessed with the PDs.
The decision on a national children’s hospital is a national one, not one for the board of Crumlin.
St Luke’s has no future as a stand alone unit in any scenario.
Tallaght is a major acute hospital. Other hospitals get amalgamated into it not the other way round.
The PDs have not “fastracked” any war and the sexual assault unit in the Rotunda is not “run down”.
The HSE is not “unmandated” – it is mandated by legislation.
A Rape Crisis Centre cannot do a forensic examination of a rape victim – that requires a clinical setting.
The compensation for Neary was not “scaled back” by Harney.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Nov 09, 2007 09:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"C Murray you seem obsessed with the PDs. "

This is not the first person that you have accussed of having an "obsession with the PD's"
As a defender of Mary & co, do you think that the PD's just have a PR problem? They are somehow misunderstood?

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Board of Crumlin Hospital voted in the absence of Dr Diarmuid Martin to not support the move
to the Mater Carpark site due to overwhelming concerns about patient care and lack of infrastructure.
Dr martin who was chair press-released on the issue ( the release was on his website). He
had supported the move in the interests of creating a centre for excellence.

Trauma units for the treatment of rape victims require specially trained nurses and counsellors.
The unit in Sligo was shut at weekends because DOHC did not fund the training of two
forensic nurses. The first call sexual assault unit provides a centre of excellence wherin
evidence such as smear, photographic and counselling treatment is all in one place.
The victims were brought to Dublin because it was the nearest available centre for dealing
with the issue, that is scandalous.

The maternity unit at the Rotunda has been housing women and babies in local hotels
because they have not the bed space, this means that the midwifery staff have had to travel
from the hospitals to attend to the women and infants. Professor drumm's bright idea
this morning is to release them after 24 hours btw. This is bad idea because some things
that may require treatment can manifest in 48 hours such as infant jaundice, digestive
difficulties. Not to mention the problems it will cause in outpatients when young or
older mothers have to queue for the standard heel prick tests, the hip tests and the lack
of supports for breast-feeding and bonding that midwifes help with. I imagine that
it will impact also on the outpatient units, but Drumm is just moving the money around
and doesn't really give a feck for patient care.

St Lukes is a community service and many people here imagine that the land will be
given to property developers for creaming the property market, but that is an FOI

This is the work of a government dedicated to supporting family and yet they have let down
women in relation to cancer services, maternity services, Rape and Assault units
and early infant care.

The last act accomplished by Ms Harney in the run up to the election was to sign over
public hospital lands to private concerns. In terms of decision making I stand by what I wrote,
The areas effected by the Crumlin move are low in educational and health services,
they are strong in community issues. The variety of childhood illnesses include
asthma and CF, these require early intervention and units with access to respiratory
equipments such as inhalers and nebulisers. The parents are very aware of how
a move to the northside will effect their ability to access primary care. The contactors
such as Dubdoc and Lukedoc (as well as GP's ) do most of that work in the community,
people have the right to know how profit-making political decisions will impact their
lives and those of their kids.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors


[As a member of the community effected by the loss of two hospitals I can state that I do
not believe that Mary Harney's policy is good for anyone's health and is badly thought out,
at the very least the DOHC has to provide communities with viable alternatives in health
care, its not good enough that a generation of Irish kids are growing up in poverty].

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last evening TV3 and RTE waited upon the HSE to name the future centres of excellence in Breast
cancer care, this means that the HSE which are budgeted for PR and spin named 8 centres in three
regions, tha majority being in Dublin which will receive funding and experts, while the others including
Portlaoise and Mullingar will 'close'. This was given prime time coverage because the Government
and the HSE have full spectrum media dominance. The Radiologist in Portlaoise issued a
statement and Professor Drumm is moving money around again.

There has been little coverage of his plan to move money in maternity. He will supposedly
release new mothers and infants within 24 hours of giving birth, so that outpatients will take
the brunt of the post-partruition tests and health care stuff. He did not say if this meant an
increase in medical management and epidurals to speed up the bureaucratic process.
He did not say if this will mean an increase in theatre staff and drug companies and
A concommitent reduction in midwifery staff. what made the news was that
he and his staff are seeking funding for eight centres of excellence which do not include
Donegal, Sligo or Mayo and this was forwarded as a good idea which dominated media.
Mary Harney was then rolled out to say that women would prefer this management.

There has been a severe lack of intelligent politcal discourse on the issue, with most
media refusing to look at how moving money about repurcusses on the issue of
choice in maternity and health care and as is usual with right wing admins the
poorest and the most vulnerable are targetted. the ladies who go private in Mount
Carmel are largely used to accepting good treatment and a stay that includes time
for the all clear tests and bond establishment with the infant, the man who presides over the
two tier does not recognise the issue of patient care.

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been trawling the media coverage of the health service problems, and assume that the FF
bullies are attempting whip control of the issue, with Bertie accusing the opposition of
'politicising the issue' and seeking 'full political consensus' to support a rightist two
tier health policy.

This is why we have had no opposition in ten years, deals are made in the Dail which do away
with the right to air and debate issues. FG under Kenny have not tackled the Health issue
and Labour under Rabbitte did not support the unions. the centrism prevalent in the Dail is
failing unions, its failing individuals and its failing patients. FF surely cannot seek media
and PR spin to support Ms harney and Professor drumm-what Drumm has proposed is

The Tallaght Press release:-

Are the Greens going to allow the maternity and Cancer care system collapse in order
for Ms Harney to rescue her politcal career and to avoid lack of political consensus?
Is FG aware of the anger that is evident on the streets when ordinary women at bus-stops
who have worked all their lives say to you 'they just do not care about us, they really don't?
Where is SF?
The Dail made stupid deals to rescue Mc Dowell nd now they are doing it for Harney, and for what?
to stymie debate or to support an insupportable situation which is failing the patient.

author by Imagespublication date Mon Nov 12, 2007 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Over the last two weeks our newspapers have been full of images of diseased breasts and
mammographies, clinical language that have succeeded in dehumanising (yet again) the victims
of corporate mismanagement of the medical services. I do wonder if Ms Harney knows anything
about what breasts can do in our wonderful hetereosexual Irish Society- they feed kids, they
provide playthings for men, they fit quite nicely into skimpy tops and they are part of women's
humanity. So I thought I'd publish a few fat breasty women in protest at Ms Harney's
inability to grasp the issue of 'damage'. 'Tip' and 'Iceberg' come to mind as yet again the whole
Dail will betray victims of institutional abuse and PD failure to compensate for Harney's
lack of intellect and basic lack of human empathy.

The image is 'Rose and Amelie', both of their two faces remind me of both her faces .
[and the chins which cannot be hid by chunky jewellery and high tops, no matter what the
make-up artist advises]

Rose and Amelie- by Munch
Rose and Amelie- by Munch

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 09:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'' deals are made in the Dail which do away with the right to air and debate issues.'

You are spot on C. Murray. Deals have been done and it may well be the case that it matters not what we do now, the money merchants have won again. The lucrative bit of health service provision will be divided out among the chosen and to ensure that citizens are terrorised into buying private health insurance to support this private money making, horror stories are a vital componant of this process. A drip feed of cases where those treated in the puiblic system come to grief while those that pay and sail through the private system receiving prompt first class treatment are vital to grease the wheel of privatisation.The manner in which some people are being exposed to suffering and pre-mature death to facilitate this ideology of "greed is good", a situation that will worsen as the private sector grows, exposes an indifference to people that requires that we need to begin to choose more appropriate words as we struggle to describe those behind this policy. "Heartless" and "ruthless" just don't cut it anymore. "Evil" is beinning to enter the frame as the only word that could possibly adequately describe these actions that are exposing people now and in the future to a service that has money making as it's prime motivating force and not the treating of peoples suffering.

It is just silly to assume that the speculators who have entered into deals to run the co-located hospitals have not received guarantees that there will be no effort made to rid us of the two tier system for the simple reason, why would anyone buy private insurance if a first class Public Health Service was available to all when needed.

Here in Sligo, years of fighting for and building up a first class General Hospital are all about to be rendered a waste of time as the hospital is in the process of being downgraded to facilitate the deal done with the private speculators to build and run a co-located hospital on the campus. This private hospital will cost millions of taxpayers money by way of grants which should be used to provide facilities that all citizens will be able to acces as required. The vital breast services are being moved from Sligo General to Galway. There is no doubt that when the private hospital is up and running these services will return over time to that facility. The difference is that in order for people from the region to avoid having to endure the travelling to Galway, they will need to have private health insurance to be treated in their home region. All citizens have a right to access a public hospital, but no such right to enter a private one even though their tax money has gone into it's creation.

Sadly, it appears to me this fight was lost at the May election. We are in the hands of the money men.

author by C Murraypublication date Tue Nov 13, 2007 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Government weighed in to rescue Michael Mc Dowell in the wake of the Laffoy Judgement
on Mister 'A', a huge deal using the party whips and the FF refrain of 'Political Consensus'
led to the ermergency laws being put on the statute- because he could not do his job.

There was no opposition save Joe Higgins.

again, the DOHC and its head Ms Harney has failed women victims of ovarian removal,
caesarian hysterectomy and breast cancer, the opposition weighs in behind the FF call
for stability and political consensus in order for another grossly inept decision by a head
of Department to be rationalised. It insults the women and it sends out a very clear message
to people that they do not matter- what matters is retaining the status quo-at all costs.
and Bertie and Mary might be 'let go' (slowly) because of failure in leadership , but the whole
epsiode shows that people do not matter, what matters is that the government and opposition
rescue and rationalise the decisions that they make in the interest of their buddies,
friends and cronies.

I am from the DSE area and shall be sending my protest to Gormley (ex-spokesperson
on Health-Green Party) on the loss of hospitals, the building of incinerators and
the support of Harney.- cos he really worries a lot about his local vote....


author by C Murraypublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brief synopsis:-

(thanks Jim O Sullivan for info on Sligo Hospital Campus).

1.Just pre-election Mary Harney accomplished legislation which allowed for the building of private
hospitals on Public Hospital Land, at the time the move was opposed largely by Labour.

2.This morning the EU court has attacked the private health insurance market and another Harney
idea- the VHI (anti-competition stuff) has been subject to international scrutiny.The Government has
been told to abolish the exemption of the VHI from non life insurance rules- or in english-
The VHI, subject of another Harney debacle has been ordered to comply with EU rules.
http://www.ireland.com [Breaking]

3. The DOHC published a report which went up to and included 2005 under a banner that
stated that it was a 2007 report and left no operating link on their statement/reaction to
that report (OECD)*


4. Major amalgamations of specialist hospitals are being accomplished without regard
to patient care and in the absence of support from two hospital boards: Tallaght and Crumlin.
(they have press released their concerns the links are in the comments above).

5.6,500 women have had mammograms that were suspect/wrong or misidagnosed.
Of those 1,500 in Cork {private patients- had immeadiate access to Ms Harney and DOHC
expertise, 5,000 in the Midland's Regional Hospital (a % being Treatment Purchase Fund
patients waited from the 4th September 2007 till November 2007, for statements, aid,
and helpline access- after 7 developed cancer and 19 are still awaiting second opinions)}

And No-One has asked for the resignation of the current Minister for Health, this would point
to it being ok to operate an unfair and unequal two tier health system with the FF/Green partners
and their buddies in opposition .

*'Authoritative OECD health at A Glance 20007 Report Published:-

[This was followed by an evening statement , the link is on the http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85041

Related Link: http://www.oecd.org
author by C Murraypublication date Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One of the manifestations of PD/HSE health Policy was the knee-jerk of creating 8 centres of
excellence for cancer care, 4 in Dublin and four regionally. However the region left out of the equation
was the North-West which includes Donegal,Sligo and Mayo. the Donegal women sought a
meeting with MH a few weeks ago (local sitting TD, Mary Coughlan). Today the Sligo women
are leaving their homes to protest at having to travel to Galway for cancer services.
(local FF is Junior at Health).

Prof Drumm no longer heads up cancer services, but the decision on maternity services
are being felt by people who are complaining that young mothers with new infants are
indeed being released from our maternity hospitals. one mother-in-law told me today
that her daughter-in-law' was released less than 24 hours after giving birth and
nurses are taking the brunt of the hospital mid-wifery work. She was there when
a heel-prick test was carried out on the infant. This usually happens in the hospital before
release. a little blood is smeared from the heel and sent to a lab, the tests indicate a
variety of genetic illnesses (one of them being CF). Mother in law is enraged at the
lack of proper supports. no word on which lab it is being sent to, last week there was
a minor squall when DOHC confirmed that a large amount of smears are being sent
to England for the sake of brevity and quick results.

No word yet about infantile jaundice which can take a day or two to appear and
can be dealt with light and breast-feeding, if it is severe, maternity hospitals usually
have ultra violet treatments- I wonder if this is done on a in-patient or out -patient basis.
Mostly the women I speak to are still well pissed off with the scam , the PR and
media management and are finding their level of work increasing. One told me
that her friend who was end stage cancer and was admitted for monitoring and
pain relief waited from 7pm until after 7am for blood pressure monitoring and
pain relief= families who are extended enough are being forced to wait in hospital
areas for upwards of twelve hours with people in unalleviated pain. but thats only
horse's mouth stuff.


author by C Murraypublication date Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its late November and it is cold, women who are deprived of basic cancer, maternity
and associated treatments will be picketing the Dail today. They will have their public
representatives with them- Its f***ing awful that women must leave their kids and homes
and families to take a train to Dublin to protest at regional downgrades in healthcare to
delineate the fact that they will be forced to travel between counties for basic services.


( I am going to attend for a lil while, these women from our communities are being
fucked over by the health system).

author by Scepticpublication date Wed Nov 21, 2007 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The eight centres of excellence predated Harney's arrival in Health. It was not a PD policy in origin. The north west is a sparsely populated region and Sligo is a very small town and is lucky to have a regional hospital at all there. Even with a centre in the region the distances would be lengthy. The creation of one more centre of excellence will dilute the overall effectiveness of the programme which is designed to improve survival. It is better for people to be inconvenienced by travel and be cured than to be treated less effectively as a more local centre and not survive at all - even if they don't realize it.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Thu Nov 22, 2007 07:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sceptic intrudes with,

"The north west is a sparsely populated region and Sligo is a very small town and is lucky to have a regional hospital at all there"

Perhaps then you can explain to us why Mary Harney is going to use taxpayers money to help speculators build a new co-located hospital on the campus of Sligo General. Who will be treated in this new private hospital in such a "sparsely populated region", Sheep?

author by Map it Jimpublication date Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are no services north of Galway East under -The Plan-. if you repeat it often enough
it can become a campaign or mantra speech, add to that the maternity services cutbacks
in Cavan and you have a grassroot action. work in consultation with your neighbours and
bingo- everyone has a say, not just the zoners, developers and consultants.

if you put up a report on how you're community is reacting to PPP, you will hook up
with Dun Laoighre and Monaghan, who have also used the Newswire. Skeptic needs some

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 00:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The whole point is that you need a larger population to support a cancer centre of excellence than that needed for a general hospital. In any event the well to do and the smart people already come to Dublin in great numbers to be treated from the provinces. The centres approach gives a better chance to all those left behind to be treated successfully. These people are ill served by those leading this north west campaign. Besides the vast majority of the population is located south of the “Galway East” line. Its only right not to locate centres in areas that won’t get the right people to work in them or the adequate patient throughput to ensure the best outcome rate possible.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 08:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"In any event the well to do and the smart people already come to Dublin in great numbers to be treated from the provinces."

What a callous and downright offensive remark. How this type of thing slips so easily from the tongue of a PD

" The centres approach gives a better chance to all those left behind to be treated successfully."

That is when you can get access. The present plan to copperfasten the two tier system will execerbate the difficulties for half the population.

"These people are ill served by those leading this north west campaign. Besides the vast majority of the population is located south of the “Galway East” line."

You still haven't answered the question...why is Harney squandering taxpayers money to build a private hospital on the campus of Sligo General if there are not enough patients?

"Its only right not to locate centres in areas that won’t get the right people to work in them or the adequate patient throughput to ensure the best outcome rate possible"

This silliness becomes frightening when you realise that the thinking going on here is also informing our health service provision. Once again, who will man Mary's private venture? Sheep treating sheep, I suppose.

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 09:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is nothing callous or offensive about describing a reality which one is keen to see improved. Spend any time in a Dublin hospital and you will soon realise that the patients are from nationwide and not just the locale. This is a reflection of superior standards available in Dublin where there is the mass of population and campus size that will get the best teams of people available. There is no point in building facilities all over the place if you don’t get either the volumes or the right mix and numbers of good people to work in them – its not a matter administrative fiat however much you dislike that reality. The present troubles in the midlands are an example of this – what is the point of no less than three cancer treatment centres within a small radius with none of the mass to do the job properly in terms of good patient outcomes. Also the Centres of Excellence have nothing to do with the co-located hospitals that are being built by private not State money. You just keep bringing them in to confuse and frighten as well as demonise. The approach I am supported to cancer services is the one that works best – it has nothing to do with any ideology. It is you that keeps brining personal defamation and a ideological statism to each issue without reference to best outcomes for all classes of patients.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I started this thread to look at how the PD's were approaching the issue of women's health; I am appalled.
After Barrington's , which had been very carefully handled at management and PR level came Portlaoise within a week.
On the fourth of September the issue came to light and both DOHC and HSE were absolutely silent. Mary Harney
walked away. Two months later she came back and attempted to deal with the issue. The issue is a result of
abdication of duty, it is a result of creating a Health Service Executive which is a profit based organisation that
is founded on a hierarchical structure, it is removed from community and it is removed from provision of services.
Since that time there has been scandal after scandal , after scandal. The regional offices and files burnt down in Cork.
The head of the HSE (a Paediatrician) has initiated a policy whereby women who have just given birth are released from
maternity units within 24 hours- the acceptable periond for first babies is 3-5 days, and 2 days for second or subsequent children.

FF/PD have spoken 'Partnership' but have created structures in Planning and Health where the ordinary users and consumers
of healthcare are not involved in that partnership, they are faced with institutional hierarchies and faceless bureaucrats.
This was quite clearly demonstrated at the Dail protest where women from Sligo and Leitrim were barricaded and
were addressed by a sucession of men in suits, not until someone asked that they speak was the barrier moved.
The people began to listen. Mary Harney has demonstrated a lack of management of her department and not alone that
she has created a distance between herself and the issues through her 10 day absence two months ago which
showed her complete inability to respond to a crisis created by her policy and decision-making.

She has stood over the run down in Maternity care and in the provision of 'centres of excellence' in three regions that
do not provide an adequate response to national need- by completey ignoring the North-West from Mayo to Donegal
to Sligo and Leitrim. Skeptic has deliberately trolled this thread and tried to bait a Sligo respondent. The title of it
is 'PD Failures in Women's Health Issues'. I am not commenting on it again.

author by Mark Cpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

NewsTalk are taking a poll on The Breakfast Show this week to see if listeners think that Mary Harney should resign. Last I heard was 66% in favour of it. Text 'Yes' to 53106 to add your voice.


author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"best outcomes for all classes of patients"

A health service in a civilised country only treats one class of person-the sick. The fact that you cannot get your head around that simple fact betrays you. You and the likes of Harney do not see just sick people in need of treatment but rather sick people some of whom have money and some with little and you see no problem that they should be treated, not based on clinical need, but on ability to pay. That is not a community-that is a vulgarity.

author by DOHCpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She should not resign until the whole story comes out:-


Oireachtas cross- party investigation into HSE/DOHC is necessary and a full review of health policy within both
Micheal Martin and Mary harney's tenure- we have been FF(ed).

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fact I was not referring to income levels but to severity of cases in the term class though in fact the proposals I am supporting would help poorer income people more than anyone and the use of the term class is universal in socialist and sociological discourse and is neutral. No need to get on your high horse moralizing about it. You have not countered the thesis on which the policy is predicated: High volume of patients = adequate cluster size of mixed professionals on campus = better patient outcomes. This is statistically proven. The model you are advocating - putting cancer centres in each area that feels entitled to them and can politically agitate in favour of them is the very one which has the least desirable outcome. I am not a PD supporter but I can see that the policy is right in this instance as it is data led on not based on ideology or local politics. . In any case the centres of excellence policy was formulated before Harney's arrival in Health. She took it on board. It is a matter of duty for policy makers and the HSE to support the policy which will lead to the greatest numbers of lives being saved and give best quality of life to those who have been treated. Those marching in the streets in support of a centre in Sligo and their partisan bandwagon hoppers are not supoorting a policy which leads to best outcomes.

author by 150% rise in creche feespublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and not to the need of an obese and greedy electorate. In this case Mary Harney
has sold out to consultants, re-zoners and profiteers. As is usual with scandal , it is
covering other issues, like:

The annual critical underspend.
The PD Policy of Profit before duty of care.
The cronyism involved in the VHI decision.
The Legislation to ensure that public lands owned by the people of Ireland are sold
at profit to private health providors and thereby underscore the two-tier system.
Greed and avarice, the creation of a two tier system does not respond to need, it responds to
profit and they will move on after creaming ignorant and stupid people leaving a collapsed
health system that is totally incapable of dealing with provisioning of care.

This is supported by Bertie Ahern and the cabinet and this is what the health policy of the
FF/PD government amounts to. She does not stand alone, she stands with the Greens and the
FF government.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"In fact I was not referring to income levels but to severity of cases in the term class though in fact the proposals I am supporting would help poorer income people more than anyone and the use of the term class is universal in socialist and sociological discourse and is neutral"

Don't be kidding yourself, everyone reading this knows preceisely what you meant and where you are coming from.

" You have not countered the thesis on which the policy is predicated: High volume of patients = adequate cluster size of mixed professionals on campus = better patient outcomes. This is statistically proven"

Are you aware that women in Donegal and Sligo have opted for radical mastectomy rather than endure the travelling for treatment and the absence of her family? So much for statistics.

" The model you are advocating - putting cancer centres in each area that feels entitled to them and can politically agitate in favour of them is the very one which has the least desirable outcome"

Where have I advocated such a policy? The only policy I advocate is that all citizens should have equal access to the best treatment available when they need it.

"I am not a PD supporter"

Your still not kidding anyone.

" In any case the centres of excellence policy was formulated before Harney's arrival in Health. She took it on board."

Yes, so she is responsable. Or what prescise point are you trying to make? And that sounds like a defence of Harney, who you do not support, and not a defence of the policy itself.

" It is a matter of duty for policy makers and the HSE to support the policy which will lead to the greatest numbers of lives being saved and give best quality of life to those who have been treated."

Bussing people on 300 mile round trips for treatment is the best they can do? Not so. The bottom line here is that Harney is pursueing a policy of privatisation and it's that policy that is clouding the decision making and has led to the crisis that has emerged.

BTW, you still haven't told us who will be treated in the co-located private hospital in the "small town" in a "sparsely populated area" that Harney is proposing to build with the help of taxpayers money while at the same time forcing public patients to travel a 100+ miles for treatment in Galway.

author by -publication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

when responding to 'Skeptic' I suggest you use his name and thereby lessen confusion, I
think that the conversation is good- however- two things:-

1. Focus on what is happening in your community, do not get baited and wound up.
Demonstrate how this policy is effecting you in Sligo and bring in the legislations. MH
fought for the Private hospitals on public campuses in the run-up to the ballot. If you
go into:-
http://www.oireachtas.ie- you should be able to source the debate.

2.Go back over the thread and look at how you are being drawn out by Skeptic, which is
a definite attempt to dilute the issues and to make you react emotively= don't.

3.If you get info on the Grassroots Health movement and or meetings, publish them
here or in events- this way you may ensure that when this scandal has abated that the
issue is kept on the agenda.

(the last post was a double-post)

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Instead of dishing out advice why dont you simply post in a manner you feel is appropriate and less likely to confuse you.

I've seen some condescending shite in my day but advising someone on how to do your arguing for you is taking the buiscuit. If you have problem with the style or manner in which a poster gets stuck into sceptic, then get stuck into him yourself.

As for not getting emotive about the Health Issue now I know your having a laugh..

If you think you can do any better, off you go.

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The issue of co-located hospitals is entirely different from that of cancer centres because you don’t need such a large pool of population to support general hospitals as would be need for a viable cancer centre. A sparsely populated may be able to support a regional hospital but is less likely to support cancer centre. Only if the Galway centre was abandoned and moved to Sligo would the latter be viable.
Centres give better outcomes and they cannot be everywhere. The downside is that some people have to travel but they will have better outcomes. You are ignoring outcomes and just going on about travel distances as if it is as easy as just plonking another centre in the west with a wave of the ministerial hand and smiles all round. But that would lead to sub optimal outcomes though it might please the locals in the first instance. There is a tension between improved outcome and complete geographical equality. You can have one or other but not both. To her credit Harney sees this as do the majority of the other politicians clinicians and the HSE. It is also in accordance with best international practice.

author by Dominopublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Though many people on the streets say that Mary is the one for the job. She has built a delightful
profile as someone who can manage issues, this is bolstered by press abuse and cultivation
of a carapace. 'Sure no-one else can fix the mess but her', 'she inherited the system' etcetera.
interesting she did not inherit the system , she just swapped chairs with Micheal Martin.

Martin was on the airwaves about R+D. the budget envisaged by FF is R+D and comprises
a 15 year plan, of which we are to get the first five years!

That would amount to sheer crapulence. Martin thinks that FF will accomplish 25 years
in Power and we should support it, the Greens are, they have instituted a longevity to FF
by providing them with an eco lobby. A closer look at Martin would indeed suggest that
rather than dealing with health in a substantive needs based manner, he had continued
the institutions, the wage packets and the crony lobby that MH inherited. He will probably
vote against a no confidence motion in Harney too. it illustrates quite simply that
this is not 'hubris' but an approach to politics that is criminal in its intent and that they
really don't give a fuck about collateral-as long as the pay offs, the corruption and the
wealth continue. I am tired of looking at that woman's face on the front of newspapers.
a woman her age does not have raven hair.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Nov 23, 2007 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The impact of how many cases a hospital treats each year on good outcomes is not in dispute. It is a key factor. There are however other factors every bit as important. Indeed the most important factor in achieving optimum outcomes is early detection. It is of no relevence how practised a doctor is if he/she is presented with a disease that has passed the tipping point. So clearly prompt access is key and yet Harney is pursuing a policy that segregates the community by copperfastening the two tier system by growing for-profit activity in the service. This creation of two queues is wasteful and discriminates against one section of the community. Applying such free market principles to the provision of medical care will always result in discrimination, unfairness and inequity. Free market principles will always favour those with the most resources.

The best practise guide suggests that a catchment area of 350,000 is near ideal for the provision of a major hospital to treat cancer and other life threatening illnesses. If you take that figure and divide it into a projected population of say 4.5 million, than clearly we need more that eight such centres as Harney is proposing. The optiumum should be around the 14 mark. So why the shortfall? Well the answer is simple enough, Harney intends that the for-profit sector should take up the shortfall and that is the real reason that Sligo General is being downgraded. Sligo General is perfectly located to cater for the entire North West region and within that region the numbers for optimum outcomes is achieved.

What is most extraordinary about the Harney plan is that there is no such major hospital proposed above the line running from Dublin to Galway. Half the country is to be left with no such facility and citizens will have to travel enormous distances for treatment. There is a very powerful case for leaving acute services at Sligo and investing and developing services there. The only rational explanation for what Harney is proposing is that she is prioritising the creation of the privtae co-located hospital planned for the Sligo General campus. If this plan goes ahead, we will in future years see women with private insurance treated locally in the private co-located hospital while neighbours who are public patients will have to travel to Galway for treatment. An appalling vista by any yardstick, yet one that Harney has no problem with.

author by C Murraypublication date Sun Nov 25, 2007 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Country Woman's Assoc. (ICA) have offered, indeed set up counselling services for those
let down by the HSE. They form quite a political lobby and seem studiously unimpressed by
services available. Interesting, they would have connections to all the main political parties.
One thing that came through was that mostly the women who have been through the mill on
this have not been offered professional counselling services, which I said at the start of the piece.

Barringtons Hospital -a Private concern, was handled differently to the Midland's Hospital.
Ms Harney personally travelled to Barrington's to deal with the issue and vanished when the
Midlands scandal broke-actually I think its a tragedy not a scandal.

Anyway, before the whole issue revolves round media coverage which it is doing at the moment,
the other issues raised were:-

1. Access to maternity Care, Professor Drumm (a Paediatrician) has systemised Maternity
hospital care , so that women and infants are released without the standard tests and
access (if needed) to social service supports. Two such cases have been told to me,
One in Castlebar and another in Dublin. Also the Rotunda had been sending new-borns and
mothers to hotels for after care cos of lack of places.

2. The IMO stopped short of overt criticism of Ms Harney today saying in a radio interview
that 'her heart is in the right place and she is attempting system reform"- wrong.
System reform does not involve one minor wealth section of the population, nor
does best practice leave out the entire North-west in relation to access.

3.It was always about mismanaging the issue through use of media, and never about
one specific area. The Midland's was mismanaged from the fourth of September.
It was press-released in November and there is a manipulation of the truth ongoing that
is quite sickening to see.

under the PD reform Programme- maternity care, breast care, access to smear tests and
contraception is available alone to those with health insurance. This is a confusing concept
for my neighbours in Dublin who cannot understand how it got so bad and are frankly
shocked . Harney also initiated a five year plan with the CPA which is 'looking at'
reducing VAT on contraceptives and running programmes in schools- suggest reducing the
VAT now and working with Dept of Education on safety programmes and not catholic
sexuality and education programmes- the kids largely get it- they are not fools.

Dept of education, btw has been investigating why the private boys schools dropped the
sex education programmes in favour of targetting academic places for boys, a considerable %
of private schools do not even have programmes.

will add in CPA link- but surely a five year plan is wholly unnecessary to investigate
contraceptive price reduction- thats absurd.


author by tokenpublication date Tue Nov 27, 2007 13:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Green party saw fit to trundle Pat Mc Kenna into the fray. they hide the women until they need 'em.
Mc kenna stated that she 'thinks the opposition are making a wee bit of political capital on the issue'
and does not know how she would vote- maybe thats why she has no seat???

Greens will vote with government cos cosmetic power is more important than the serious crisis
provoked by PD impostiton of private health care on a country.+ Patricia is more interested in
-talking head- status (tokenism) than mandate.

Good to know where we stand, the Greens will support MH and will instigate feminist tokenism to boot
cos politics are translated in a two-party US model by a corporate exponent in the Dail.

[Newstalk 106]

author by John Gormleypublication date Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John Gormley will speak in support of MH tonight, in the Dail. Thus copperfastening the political perception of the
Greens as without principle and unable to take on the issue of what opposition means- Pooolbeg (for one).

MH has asked for bi-partisanship in the issue. This means political consensu for the impostition of
a private healthcare system onto the country, this is supported by the Greens. John will face
a bad vote on Poolbeg and though he may retain his seat in the posh areas in any forthcoming election
he has shown himself to be without an understanding of mandate which is quite unbelievable for many in the
DSE area.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Do we need some form of impeachment process so that an electorate can insist that a pre-election manifesto is adhered to?

author by -publication date Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MH indeed has followed on from Martin by retaining the old systems and hierarchies.
Each and every member of the Dail whether they support her or not has to take responsibility
for lack of opposition and for political consensus. the importation of a bi-partite US system
favours the wealthy (who enjoy non-necessary surgery) and for a lack of adherence to
mandate- none are immune. They have not represented the needs of the population but
the lobbies and consultants. its a crisis cos no-one stood up and took it on, and they have
divorced themselves from the reality of ordinary life. In order for any opposition government to
suceed (in five years probably)- they have to;-

1.do their job.
2.be accountable.

MH is not the only one who upheld the system. We should be looking at why FF supporters
have allowed this to come to pass, if they cannot do the job and that is simple enough
education and health that is avalable to all- then they should fuck off. its not about
consultants, ethos or staffing its about provision to everyone, that is a mandate and
that is not understood.

Harney tried to import a private healthcare system into a country which values
the individual , she dropped the ball and obfuscated on the issues-now she wants bi-partisanship
to get a digout- thats reprehensible= they have been getting away with clientelism too long
and have spent public money too long on attracting big budget sponsors- she has to
go. but her replacement should be made do the job. root and branch reform.

author by -publication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 09:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brian Cowen allotted 14 billion to DOHC under the stewardship of the Current PD Minister for Health:
Ms Mary Harney (last seen in the Dail fighting a no-confidence motion, it transpired that not alone did An
Taoiseach(Bertie Ahern Esq) and the Environment Minister (John Gormley Esq) have full confidence in
PD Health policy but that it would continue for 41/2 years (!).

I wonder what the:

Health Services Unions.
Clerical services Unions.
Grassroots for change types.
and everyone else feels about this...

( I know what I think- she fucked it up and will continue to do so- cf links).

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press Release;- http://www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2007/20071205a.html

+ a big mechanised HSE to fund.

No-one has lost their job over the arbitrary line between Dublin and Galway-East
which has left the entire North-West without Cancer-care services, nor the anguish that has been caused to the
Victims of three Hospitals breast-cancer services.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 20:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Spatially what matter is population density and associated access transport. Otherwise Iowa would have the same geographically distribution of cancer centres as New York State which would be as absurd as an equal distribution by county in Ireland. Counties are irrelevant in this area. The majority of the population (as opposed to the geographic space of ROI) lives either on or below or with reasonable access to the eight facilities. Louth centres of population for example are within easy reach of Dublin by various modes of transport. If you took account of the M1 the line would have to be drawn much further north on the east coast than Dublin. In fact you would have to redraw the entire map to take account of population clusters, density and access to get a true picture and an informed understanding of the situation. It was this logic that was in the minds of the planners who designed the system that was rationally based and not arbitrary.

Related Link: http://www.robertsreview.com/cancer_centers_by_state.html
author by C Murraypublication date Fri Dec 07, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As my female pals from Mayo say-'If this were about testicles, there'd be a National outcry', but its ok. its only women's health
issues and no-one really gives a fuck as long as profit is made. I am pissed off with Skeptic's Trolling .

1.Maternity services are run-down.
2. Abortion (even for medical reasons ) is not mentioned, meaning Doctors cannot do their job because the PR
factory which masquerades as Government thinks that abortion and 'female issues' are consumer choice issues
and not human rights issues
3.Rape trauma units and domestic violence shelters are under-funded.

The PD 'Party' under and consisting of Ms Harney has failed women by refusing to provide health care to us
because it cannot be provided to a section of the population without bringing in the issue of Profit as opposed
to the FF catchcall of 'Value for money'.


(btw: The issue of migrancy and asylum also comes into this with completely inadequate response to women
of other culture's issues and international conventions on protection of migrant children completely ignored-
Mary Harney has been handed 41/2 years by the Greens and FF).

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Dec 07, 2007 19:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What cannot be got on a medical card- (I spent a lot of time in the doctor's last week, the signs
are very interesting).

1.Bloodtaking (venepuncture)
2.Cervical Smear (Well woman does these but the rosary vigil outside thinks anyone who
goes to Wellwoman for a smear is an abortionist)
3.Pregnancy test- most chemists have them, one can no longer pee in a coffee jar
and bring it to the doctor for anaylsis.
4.Medico-legal (very tricky)
5.Medico-insurance .
7.Eye-test for driving (also good for diabetes diagnosis)
8.Medical tests for : pre-employment, school?,Sport.

All these must be purchased from private operators, GP's or other medical services

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Dec 07, 2007 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors


This is a travesty of a complex issue that involves the Medical Council’s ethics code and various Supreme Court judgements as well as office holders in politics and has nothing to do with any misogyny on the part of the Government that took office last Summer. Your approach on this and other issues appears to be one of over simplified polemics that don’t stand up to critical scrutiny.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Dec 07, 2007 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since August the 8th, Skeptic has been trolling my articles-

To reply- Abortion is a human rights issue and the medical doctor has more expertise than
a politician, with regard to court cases I will cite one:-

It has been 15 years since the 'X' Case judgement, which allowed for limited medical abortion
in this state, now I can look at Mc Dowell's sexism in relation to the 2006 legislation,
or I can look at how the Law reform Commission wants to reduce the age of Statutory rape to 12,
or I can look at how four women have had to go to Europe because of the damage caused
to them by the legislation brought in post-referendum which included a co-equality clause. I can look
at cancer issues , specifically but not essentially ovarian cancer and how women with
terminal disease cannot get induction or medical abortion because not one political party
has the courage to say the word abortion in this state.

Ireland north and south is the only european country not to allow for limited medical
abortion and obfuscates the discussion in a plethora of consumerist and theological
nonsense that is anti human rights. I know, I have seen the political party
internal memos that go round the blocks and how the parties deal with the issue
in a PR sense.

There is a huge government study on abortion rights available in Molesworth Street,
never implemented-gathering dust. In this country our daughters do not have the right
to privacy and their reproductive Lives begin at puberty which means that they do
not have the right to their childhood under Irish law. This is an unacceptable and abusive
situation that requires reform- it is no-one's business what goes on between a doctor
and patient. I would look at what happened to Miss 'D' from the state's point of view-
her human right to privacy and to a medical procedure which involved induction
was violated.

btw- I have had an induction, it is a simple procedure but can be traumatising cos
it speeds up labour and is quite common if you look at the fucking newswire.

So back to the point- I wd suggest that given Mary Harney's propensity to privatise
that she is not the person to deal with the whole area of free, safe and legal abortion
in Ireland. Having ignored the whole gender specific areas of women's rights
for three years.

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abortion is not a human right but a matter of controversy. A right to an abortion is conferred in some jurisdictions but not in others.

A doctor is a medical expert but the issue is wider than that and legislating for it involves jurists and ethicists as well as legislators. The present position in the ROI is messy and anomalous but it probably reflects the generality of political and public opinion well enough. It is not grounds to attack Mary Harney. Incidentally she was one of the very few politicians who spoke up and said Ms. X should be permitted to have an abortion in Ireland in 1992.

Irish people have to travel for an abortion. This is also a characteristic of the process in the US – many states have poor or non-existent provision and people have to travel long distances to get services. The Irish inconvenience of having to travel is not unique. It is a feature of how controversial the issue is.

The ethical problems some people have with abortion are very real, as real as the concerns the pro choice people have. They are not obfuscation. Also the issue does not divide the sexes. Very many women are vehemently opposed to abortion.

author by PD F-a-i-l-u-r-e-spublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors


author by re skepticpublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 20:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Women go to the UK because we do not talk about it here, yep! brings a whole new meaning to
the term 'Anglo-Irish Co-operation', keeps us safe from arguing on the issue in this great
priest-ridden nation.

my bollox!

author by Scepticpublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 21:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The priests no longer have a decisive influence on issues like these. The division is instead in the minds of the people - they want abortion to be available but not here. This is reflected in their political representatives and in the reality. Right now there is no majority for either a Dana or an Ivana position. The people are in the middle. It might well change in time but one has to be patient in the interim. But there is no point in asserting “abortion is a right” and then blasting Mary Harney for failing to deliver on it. That is an extremist position based on a false foundation and is deeply unfair to Harney.

author by wageslavepublication date Fri Dec 14, 2007 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

so whats your own position on the issue septic? I'm bored seeing you try to poke holes in everything everyone on the site says. Do you actually have any specific opinions yourself about anything to replace those you consistently try to tear down. Are you just a paid disrupter, a right wing party apparatchick, a cold empty troll practicing rhetoric, or are you a real human being with thoughts, feelings ideas, opinions and aspirations for the future of this society and for your children who will inherit the cynical morally bankrupt place you, in your small way will have helped to mould (sic) ?

I'd love to actually hear some of them for a change. So tell us septic, what is your opinion on the matter? What do you actually think yourself?

author by Scepticpublication date Sat Dec 15, 2007 09:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Politics is boring for the most part because much of it is about dull process. So is economics. They are also complex and untidy. Real politics as opposed to the street variety is not for those with a low boredom threshold or for dilettantes. The simplistic nostrums are not always true and calumnies about people like Mary Harney we see here quite regularly are invalid and ought to be challenged. My own view of the abortion issue is that the McDowell amendment, which was defeated, would have represented a workable solution in accordance with public opinion which might have been the least unsatisfactory settlement to be going on with for the present until there is a liberal majority which would see the issue resolved in that direction.

author by trollpublication date Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Harney deserves castigation and am glad she is going down, because her idea of liberal is
abortion for those who can pay. that is unfair to those who cannot. It is unfair to doctors
who cannot continue care in the case of medical abortion and it is unfair to family/sibling/spouse/
lover who cannot accompany and care for those in need of medical abortion in this state.

Abortion is a human right and it can be spun anyway one want, the perameters chosen to
discuss the issue are based on deeply divisive abstract notions that have nothing
whatever to do with the human situation. instead of looking at it as a consumer or
choice issue we should be looking at it as something that forms part of necessary
services to women. ireland and this state has violated women's rights to adequate
health care, it has violated women's rights to continuing care and womens rights to
privacy- over and over again. abortion needs grown up conversation within a national
health service wherein the issue of privacy between dr and patient is primary and
not subsumed beneath abstract definitions of womanhood propounded by
people more interested in profit than human right.

author by Scepticpublication date Sun Dec 16, 2007 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To say abortion is a human right is an assertion, nothing more. Asserting something does not make it true or real. You could argue that abortion ought to be a human right but that is different. To argue that a right to abortion might be an extension of the right to privacy or the right to adequate health services is another different matter but would also be controversial. I cannot see that it has anything to do with profit – unusually pro-life people argue that abortion is big business or slogans to that effect. Realistically the problem is that the debate on the subject is exhausted after the divisiveness of the pro-life amendment of 1983 and the subsequent amendments since then. There would need to be popular support for abortion to be available generally here – until there is it won’t be. That is the unfortunate reality. Blaming Harney is just lazy politics and opportunistic partisan sloganeering. In reality the more militant pro-choice argument is not with Harney but with the public. Rather than targeting Harney you should be trying to change public opinion, outside of the confines of the Irish Times and TCD. Try the ICA for instance – real women who vote in very large numbers but who are mainstream. They are the sort of people you have to reach.

author by C Murraypublication date Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The reports commissioned in the Wake of the misdiagnosis of women in the Midland's
Regional Hospital is published today at DOHC.


The tragedy at Portlaoise was preceded by the Barrington's Hospital Misdiagnosis
scandal in Cork and then we were subject to the fact that Professor Drumm's
idea of excellence in cancer-care was to create centres of excellence that stopped
at Sligo. (leaving out the whole north-west of the country)

Amazingly both Professor Drumm and Mary Harney are still in their jobs!

Today the Pharmacists are on strike- FF/PD allow unelected quangos who
have huge bureaucracies to set policy in this state- Mary Harney was given the
confidence of the current government and 16 billion euros to create health
apartheid in Ireland.

There is a march on March 29th for people, unions and patient groups to
demand provision of proper health care services.


author by Scepticpublication date Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not that amazing as Mary Harney was returned as a TD and reappointed as a Minister for Health. Prof Drumm’s term of office is not yet expired. Misdiagnoses happen from time to time – it’s not a feminist issue.

author by C Murraypublication date Wed Mar 05, 2008 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have missed your dulcet tones.

It is a question of provision of services to everyone regardless of income- therefore it is

1. A feminist issue.
2 A voter issue.
3. A value for money issue.
4. The usage of a hierarchical structure to protect the grossly incompetent, of whom
it was said 'In any other country she would be sued for contributory manslaughter'
5. An issue of importance to anyone who will not stand and allow health apartheid
dominate the political agenda of a corrupt government.

You do not tell someone how to 'own' an issue, I will be on the streets March
29th to demand Ms Harney's resignation for sheer ineptitude and gross incompetence.

and btw- J Gormley was wheeled out to support this woman's health policy
and whom stood over it publically sent his PA to the St Luke's March-now thats
striking arrogance.

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Mar 29, 2008 19:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mary Harney responded to the protest today by saying that one billion euros will be
spent on the public sector health services..

she got 16 billion in the budget.

she is attending the IMO meeting in Killarney where she (like Hanafin this week) has got
a bad reception, she says that consultants will not get what they want, this is interesting
because the provenance of the issue is this:
the IHCA (Irish hospital consultants) agreed a package with her which she fanfared before
the dotted line was signed through the propaganda dept of http://www.dohc.ie.

The IMO were not party to the agreement and stated as such on their website, months later
the issue has been spun into reverse with huge PR and media attendant on her meeting
today which coincided with the health march through Dublin.

This means that the two consultant representative bodies are not attended to
and the public statement she made was premature, the history of the issue is in
comments above. in the meantime she will not answer media questions on
community struggle for adequate healthcare which the monaghan hospital rep
alluded to in his speech today. further downgrading is occurring in monaghan with
losses in cancer, maternity already. Elective is to be downgraded, leaving people with
travel expense and worry and only an A+E in the area.

The IMO have stated that the private hospitals on public lands issue is about profit
not patient care also, this was pushed through cabinet by FF/PD in the run-up to the
election when FF abused it's majority to further privatisation at the cost of lives.
the only party who kicked up on it were the Labour Party.

The Crumlin Hospital Campaign will not allow the children's hospital be moved
as part of amalgamation, they have a bebo site (will add in link).

Related Link: http://www.dohc.ie
author by C Murraypublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what **** on the radio this morning, the HSE are again moving personnel into Lourdes
hospital to staunch the leaks over another radiology scandal- this was suppressed by the
lascivious Mr Rabbitte who talks about the Taoiseach's 'domestic personal issues' being
territory where he would not go and making jokes about Cathal O Searcaigh in the
same breath (it's ok to have a go at someone who has had the media exposure but we await
due process in Mahon?)

Newstalk 106 fm, cf Coleman interviews on podcast.

On Mahon, its become a mass distraction in which media time is given to salacious
inquiry while ignoring the health and education issues confronting the government
and putative opposition, who are so partisan and morally upright about the
Taoiseach that they fail to see the deals that were made have led to this pass.

Labour have not worked consistently with unions through a decade of attrition of
health services and the growth of the HSE.
FG have allowed every single issue pass and have only sought tinkering amendments
to the most outrageous erosion of rights in health and education.

The Greens were notably absent from the rally yesterday.

The new scandal at Drogheda will be subsumed beneath the torrent of shite
that passes for political debate in this country where a brief three minutes
of a political programme was given to health services and the other ad-driven
57 were given to Pat Rabbitte's trundling and unbelievable hypocrisy and nastiness.

author by Scepticpublication date Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given that you blame FF, Labour and the Greens so much for the ills of the health service is your thread title which singles out the PDs not misnamed? And Pat Rabbit whom you criticize in such strong terms would have pretty much the same ideological position on health – you won’t win friends and influence people that way. Besides a lot goes very well in the health services the odd bottleneck and misdiagnosis notwithstanding. Things like hip implants are now routine and people complain if they have to wait a few months for them. In the not so distant past these were very rare and expensive operations which could only be afforded by the wealthy. The same is true of most scans – they are a recent invention and now they are part of the routine toolkit of health centres. One could just as easily have a thread which is titled “PD Successes on Health Issues”. Health care is very cost intensive and one has to have the resources to distribute in the first place. It’s probably fair to say that the PD contribution to national life is more in the area of wealth creation and probity rather than health. In any case there is no evidence that any other party holding the health ministry would do better than Mary Harney has done. Much of the abuse heaped at her is over the top and sexist.

author by C Murraypublication date Mon Mar 31, 2008 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

labour have become New Labour?

Pat rabbitte asked extremely pertinent questions in the run up to the sexual offences bill and
Howlin did a lot on the issue of section 5. Ms harney is the only politician who replied honestly
to the constitutional problems at the time...

However, I listened to Pat Rabbitte say (on National radio):

'if Bertie Ahern was in bed with Cathal O Searchaigh in the window of Brown Thomas
then FF loyalists would still support him'

to which Barry Andrews replied 'Arnott's would be more appropriate'

(copious giggling)

now this morning I.T are polling on the distraction of Mahon and tis the second time that
FF have allied the issue of due process in Mahon to the crap film made by O Chianain
and I would imagine they are going down the road of privacy and defamation-when they
shld be looking at dispassionate (not sensationalist press coverage?)

there are many kinks in the Privacy/defamation Bills.

Rabbitte alluded on three separate occasions to Mr Ahern's 'private domestic issues'
I don't give a feck about his issues, no-one does, I give a feck that we are losing our
children's hospital and thus am entitled to highlight the weird gossipy media coverage
that is distracting from a health crisis and a PD issue: privatisation as opposed to
equality of access

PD's are hovering at 1% on red C.

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