New Events

Cork

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

offsite link Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights

offsite link Saudi Human Rights Violation Fri Aug 09, 2019 20:41 | Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

offsite link Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link It?s Saturday evening?so there?s a poll 19:55 Sat Sep 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link The Uncivil War? 12:24 Sat Sep 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Fairphone 3 11:24 Sat Sep 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link That space film? no not that one, the other one? 11:00 Sat Sep 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link This Weekend I?ll Mostly Be Listening to? Songs about food 07:54 Sat Sep 21, 2019 | irishelectionliterature

Cedar Lounge >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Anger as Cork health workers fight on two fronts ...

category cork | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Friday September 26, 2008 15:49author by Peter Sullivan Report this post to the editors

Cork hospitals are under attack with major cuts planned ... Meanwhile Beacon Medical Group's planned 'Co-location' hospital in Cork draws nearer. It would seem like high-time to call in the union and put manners on a few people ... but where is Joe?
The only remaing hosptial on Cork's Northside
The only remaing hosptial on Cork's Northside

Anger as Cork health workers fight on two fronts ...

The anger of health workers in Cork reached near boiling point at a meeting on Wednesday night hosted by the Campaign For A Real Health Service. The meeting, at Cork’s Imperialist Hotel, was called to highlight the planned construction of a private hospital by the Beacon Medical Group ( see http://www.wsm.ie/internal_article/3620 ) on the crowded grounds of Cork’s University Hospital. While the speakers addressed the issue of the Mary Harney’s so-called “Colocation” strategy and the dangers it poses to the already over-stretched public health services, workers from the Cork’s St Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital spoke with passion and anger about the current efforts to downgrade the facility. Much of the anger was directed at the HSE and its bumbling head, Brendan Drum, but special mention was also made of the attitude and inaction of SIPTU’s full time official, Joe O’Callaghan.

The Orthopaedic is the last remaining hospital on Cork’s North Side. It is set on large spacious grounds and is renowned for the quality of its care. Despite widespread opposition, Brendan Drum is intent on cutting services at the hospital. Earlier this month staff at the hospital were informed about ‘possible changes’ at the hospital. Drum’s main target is the key orthopaedic services which he is intent on moving across town to the already overburdened CUH. Although the move is opposed by doctors at the hospital, Drum has made it plain that as with the Mercy hospital, the Orthopaedic’s days as an operational hospital are numbered. Apart from the damage to patient care there are well over two hundred and fifty jobs also at stake.

At the root of the ongoing rearrangement in hospital services in the Cork city area is a bold attempt by Drum and his cronies to cut costs and save money. There is a widespread suspicious among those in the know that the HSE intends to sell off a large section of the land on which the Orthopaedic is located if it is allowed to succeed with its plan. This is prime building land and has been on the radar of beady-eyed speculators for quite some time. A further scenario includes the prospect that a section of the Orthopaedic will in due course actually be turned over to a consortium intent on re-opening a new private ‘orthopaedic’ facility to meet the ‘for profit’ health care market.

What emerged clearly at Wednesday night’s meeting was that the struggle in the health service in Cork is now reaching a crisis. Cutbacks are underway in the Mercy Hospital, where a long standing issue has been the failure of the hospital to open a new A & E (see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87804 ) remains unresolved. Now also the Orthopaedic is threatened. All of this is happening as the last rubber stamp (An Bord Pleanála) is put on the Beacon Medical Group’s planned private hospital to be ‘co-located’ at CUH in the Wilton area of Cork. Although Beacon is an Irish company (see www.beaconmedicalgroup.ie ) the actual 175 bed hospital will be run for it by the “for profit” US health Care giant, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (www.upmc.com ). Don’t be misled by the name, UPMC is a business not a centre for teaching and learning.

For Beacon, making money will never come as easy as it will for them in this project. Not only are they availing of huge Government grants for the construction phase, but they will also, once operational, avail of the CUH’s publically funded facilities and resources. Beacon will also have ready access to the multitude of consultants at CUH (paid generously from the public purse). On Wednesday these same consultants, aware of the lucrative windfall that is likely to come their way via co-location, ‘strongly backed” the BMG at the Bord Pleanála hearing.

Against this scenario workers at the Orthopaedic spoke in anger of their efforts to date to fight the privatisation moves and cutbacks. However they are fighting on two fronts – not only against the HSE but also against their own SIPTU branch official – none other than Joe O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan, who is also a Fine Gael councillor (we kid you not), was almost always ‘at a meeting’ when anyone from his branch called Connolly Hall for looking for him during the past week. You would think Joe would see the importance of this issue, but hell no ... Joe is too busy at with other matters! It was pointed out that he never returns calls and on a few occasions has chastised SIPTU workers for speaking to the media over his head. The most serious allegation levelled at O’Callaghan had to do with the fact that he was reputed to be on holidays in Turkey as the Orthopaedic closure was announced. It was also alleged that he was on holidays with one of the managers from the Orthopaedic! Could it be true?

The strength of feeling about the dire situation was such that a number of contributors spoke of the need for health workers in Cork City to organise for themselves and to make contact with other health workers in order to tackle the grave situation. It was also stated by a numbers to trade unionists that it is high time that trade union members took their unions back from the full time officials who are acting as a law unto themselves. As was pointed out by one able speaker from the floor, the union is its members NOT its officials. Further meeting are planned to act on this initiative so watch this space.

The Orthopaedic is renowned for it the quality of its care
The Orthopaedic is renowned for it the quality of its care

© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy