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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link The Art of Lying Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:04 | amarynth
By Batiushka for The Saker Blog Let us not live by a lie. Solzhenitsyn Introduction They used to say ?lies?. Then it became ?propaganda?. Then it became ?editorial control?. We

offsite link Christian Culture: Young Russia vs Young U.S. Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:52 | amarynth
By Walt Garlington for the Saker Blog It is often claimed that the United States is a Christian country (the most Christian country, according to some), but the development of

offsite link Sitrep Britain: The Titanic Hits the Iceberg Wed Jul 06, 2022 22:41 | amarynth
By Batiushka for The Saker Blog Power is like cancer ? it eats you slowly without you realising it. St Nectarius of Egina (+ 1920) Possibly the greatest clown UK

offsite link Russia Sanctions and Asset Grab 2022 Wed Jul 06, 2022 22:39 | amarynth
Russia Sanctions and ASSET GRAB 2022 The Coming Sanctions-Induced Economic Tsunami? July 6, 2022 by Yves Smith. https://www.nakedcapitalism... Today I am risking being too glib, but my excuse is aspiring to meet

offsite link Sitrep Operation Z: A small pause Wed Jul 06, 2022 13:17 | amarynth
By Amarynth for the Saker Blog By popular demand, a SMO Sitrep open thread a few days before I planned for it. After Lisichansk, it looks like a small pause

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE bias complaint

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

offsite link Humanity: Zero chance of survival Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link The Grievances and Grudges Behind the Victimhood Agenda at UCL Bode Ill for the Future of Universiti... Thu Jul 07, 2022 15:59 | Austin Williams
The unsubstantiated grudges, decades-old grievances, personal animosity, professional resentment and calculated attacks in the report on UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture bode ill for the future of universities.
The post The Grievances and Grudges Behind the Victimhood Agenda at UCL Bode Ill for the Future of Universities appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Large Decline in Pupil Attainment in England Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:04 | Noah Carl
Many studies have found that school closures harmed children's education. So it's not surprising there's been a dramatic decline in pupil attainment in England since 2019 ? as new government statistics reveal.
The post Large Decline in Pupil Attainment in England appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Boris to Resign Today Thu Jul 07, 2022 09:55 | Will Jones
Boris Johnson will resign today after Nadhim Zahawi told him to go and another eight ministers quit demanding he accepts reality. Will history now repeat and the Tories install a new, dull, election-losing John Major?
The post Boris to Resign Today appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Face Nappy: Baby in Face Mask on Plane With Holes Cut for Eyes Sparks Ridicule and Anger Thu Jul 07, 2022 09:00 | Will Jones
Now that's a face nappy: a photograph of a baby on a plane wearing an adult surgical face mask with holes cut for eyes has gone viral and sparked outrage and ridicule.
The post Face Nappy: Baby in Face Mask on Plane With Holes Cut for Eyes Sparks Ridicule and Anger appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link TWICE as Many Vaccine Deaths as Covid Deaths in U.S. Households, Poll Finds Thu Jul 07, 2022 07:00 | Will Jones
More than twice as many Americans have lost a household member to a Covid vaccine injury as have lost one to Covid, a new poll of 1,500 members of the public has found.
The post TWICE as Many Vaccine Deaths as Covid Deaths in U.S. Households, Poll Finds appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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No Mercy Points To Solidarity

category cork | anti-capitalism | news report author Tuesday June 03, 2008 16:32author by Kevin Doyle - Cork WSM Report this post to the editors

In a timely statement on May 1st, nurses in Cork city's A & E service poured scorn on the HSE. Part of the reason why they did this was because of the ongoing situation at Cork's Mercy Hospital. In their statement, the nurses said that it was their "collective view that patient care is being compromised and that it is only a matter of time before there are serious issues and incidents ..." A month on from that statement there has been no resolution in the Cork area. The Workers Solidarity Movement look at the issues and how the impasse could be resolved.
The Mercy is the main city centre hosptial for Cork
The Mercy is the main city centre hosptial for Cork

In March of this year a leaked memo from a doctor at the Mercy Hospital in Cork revealed a startling situation. A new Accident and Emergency unit, commissioned to meet the expanding needs of one of Cork’s busy city centre hospital, was lying idle and unused. The new A & E, part of an elaborate extension to the Mercy Hospital’s facilities, had been completed and equipped in early 2007 but a year later it still hadn’t seen a single patient. (see http://www.wsm.ie/news_viewer/3602)

The upshot of the travesty, highlighted in the leaked memo, saw the Health Service Executive (HSE) come under scrutiny. Some local public representatives spoke up about the situation and questions were raised in the Dáil. On April 8th, a report in the Irish Times revealed that a short fall in funding was the basis for the problems at the Mercy. The article quoted the head of the HSE, Brendan Drumm, as saying that the Mercy Hospital in Cork had to meet the staffing costs of the new A & E unit from its existing budget. If it couldn’t do that, then he was not in a position to do any more about the situation. In effect, Drumm was saying there would be no change. He also went to suggest that if the Mercy’s A & E situation was to be resolved, it could only be done so at the expense of other existing A & E units in the city.

Cork city nurses, via the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) responded quickly with their own assessment of the situation in the city (Cork Independent, May 1st ). In a statement they called for a ‘health forum’ to discuss the “acute shortage of beds for emergency patients in the Cork area”. The nurses, mainly from Cork University Hospital (CUH), pointed out that services at CUH were already restricted due to the HSE’s refusal to employ new staff. Staff were overwhelmed and demoralised with the chronic underfunding of the service, a problem that was exacerbated by the delays in opening the new Mercy hospital unit – a unit initially intended to meet the increased demand in the city due to the city’s population growth. The nurses went on to say that “it was their collective view that patient care is being compromised and that it is only a matter of time before there are serious issues and incidents. Therefore immediate, radical, dramatic and determined action is now required to deal with this crisis.”

By early May, there was no resolution of the impasse - but there was a bizarre development. A compromise deal was reached between the HSE and the Mercy Hospital’s management. This “face saving” deal – face saving for the bosses in other words - proposed that the new A & E unit at the Mercy would open its door ‘part-time’ from the summer onwards. At present the Mercy has an older and smaller A &E in operation for 24 hours of the day. Under the new “deal” the 24 hour operation would be closed down and the costs saved diverted to give “12 hours” in the new A & E building. The deal in other words was in line with Drumm’s dictat: services can only be reorganised within existing budgets.

The upshot was widespread criticism. It was immediately pointed out by a range of health workers that all sorts of logistical and safety problems would arise with practical restriction of the A & E hours in the Mercy to just 12 per day. For example, it is estimated that the Mercy sees just 40% of its patients during the 12 daylight hours. With the new arrangement the other 60% or almost 10,000 would have to go to CUH (where nurses and A & E are already over stretched – as per the INO nurses statement above). Moreover the new arrangement would also mean a diversion of the ambulance and other services at night-time to the CUH. And what would happen with patients who arrived just before the Mercy facility closed at 8 pm in the evening? Would they be told to make their own way to CUH – a couple of miles way? Or would they be ferried by ambulances? An A & E doctor at the Mercy lambasted the arrangement, stating that he was “extremely concerned that if the new Mercy University emergency department was to only open on a part-time basis, the impact of diverting ambulances to the already overstretched emergency department at Cork University Hospital would be exceptionally dangerous and difficult to deal with at CUH"

Right now there is no resolution to the problem in sight. It has emerged however that the sum of money involved in the dispute at the Mercy’s A & E is a mere €1.5 million. This amount of money would pay for a total staffing of 25 persons, to include 15 nurses which would see the new A & E unit working 24/7.

The standoff at Cork’s Mercy comes as, nationally, IMPACT union workers in the health service begin a prolonged work to rule. The action by IMPACT (backed by 85% of members in a ballot) will involve health professionals, therapists, social care workers, as well as administrative staff. IMPACT members will stop “co-operation with HSE advisors, block non-emergency overtime and out-of-hours work, and halt co-operation with the HSE’s so-called ‘transformation programme’”. The aim of the action is to put pressure on those HSE and hospital managers to end the ongoing recruitment embargo in the health service. The embargo has led to a drop in the number of health workers in the service at a time when many services are stretched to their limit. The primary purpose of the embargo on recruitment is to assist HSE bosses in their enthusiasm to balance the budgets. Although the IMPACT action is national, it is the same recruitment embargo and budgetary concerns that has led to the current crisis at the Mercy Hospital’s A & E unit.

With the IMPACT work to rule now underway, a key question must be asked. Can the action by IMPACT alone have the desired effect? To answer this question, a central consideration must be brought into picture – this is Government policy. The HSE may well be the employer body that health workers have to deal with, and Brendan Drumm may well be its head, but the real culprit in all of this is the Government and its policies. It is at Government level that the decisions are being taken about the very budgetary matters that are, say, affecting services on the ground in Cork’s Mercy. So, in other words, it is Government policy that is at issue here and, ultimately, it is Government policy that must be challenged and overturned. But this leads on to a second consideration: what sort of action would it take to do this?

There is no avoiding the reality that nurses and health workers cannot win if they go out on all out strike on their own. Apart at all from huge media barrage they would face, significant danger would accrue to patients. There is always the possibility that some patients would either have their health compromised or would die. So an all out strike by nurses and health workers, while dramatic and potentially effective, is high risk and could backfire. It is perhaps in part for this reason that IMPACT workers are for the moment only taking limited action – action that will target HSE management but leave patients unaffected. In some way this is a wise strategy but is it, ultimately, ineffectual?

So what’s to be done? Clearly there is a huge need for action. But as the INO nurses at CUH pointed out: not just any action will do. It is time for radical and dramatic action. But what is the nature of this action to be? This is a key question and it must be faced up to by all of us over the next period. Health workers in particular are in the invidious position of doing valuable and vital work. If they strike, a lot of ordinary and vulnerable people can suffer. This is something no one wants to see, nor is it a road that can easily be gone down.

The solution in the longer term must involve solidarity. What sort of solidarity, you might ask. The key solidarity that must be looked for and must be won is the solidarity of those strong and powerful elements of the workforce who can very easily get results by stopping work. In other words, workers who can affect private business and private profit. We are talking here about the power workers, workers in the docks and workers in transports, to name just a few. Such workers, if they link up with health workers, can force the sort of “radical and dramatic” solution to the problems that we need.

Winning this solidarity will take time, but what is important to remember is that it can be done. Part of the process of building this solidarity must involve rebuilding the networks of rank and file links that have existed among sectors of workers at different times in the past but that have disappeared under the prolonged and debilitating influence of ‘partnership’. Such networks are the key to the independent direct action needed to tackle Government policy face on. Such links can and must be rebuilt and the process of doing just that must begin now.

In recent week the gravity of the situation faced by hospitals such as the Mercy in Cork has been highlighted once more by the revelations that the Mercy is actually cutting more wards and bed numbers to “balance its budget”. The most recent announcements concerns bed numbers in the area of women’s surgery. So as things go right now, the situation is not even stable. Rather it is worsening and we have the Government to thank for that. As the INO nurses said, it is time for radical and dramatic action.

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/health

The front of the new extension and upgrade
The front of the new extension and upgrade

The new A & E - No entry here!
The new A & E - No entry here!

No plans to open - cars on the Ambulance Only slot
No plans to open - cars on the Ambulance Only slot

author by Socialist Partypublication date Tue Jun 03, 2008 17:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

125 plus attended a meeting in Cork on 26 May to discuss the cutbacks at the Mercy Hospital and the threat to open the new A&E on a 12 hour basis instead of the current 24 hour service.
The meeting was organised by the Campaign for a Real Public Health Service and a demonstration has been called for Saturday 28 June at 2pm, assembling in Daunt Square, Patricks Street, Cork city.

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