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Search words: health

Healthcare, UCD Students’ Union Breaks Students' Trust

category dublin | miscellaneous | news report author Wednesday August 26, 2009 12:26author by Brian - SF Report this post to the editors

Only a few days in the job.

Article on RTE.ie

University College Dublin will this year introduce fees for its student health service. Students were informed of the new charges by email on Monday. From the start of the academic year, charges will include a €10 fee for a nurse visit and a €25 fee to see a doctor. Charges will not apply to students on medical cards, while counselling services will also remain free of charge.

UCD student union president Garry Redmond says the new system will not affect vulnerable students.

Email sent to students.

Dear UCD Student,

Prior to your return to campus we would like to bring to your attention a change in the UCD Student health Service.

UCD is committed to providing UCD students with access to a comprehensive Student health Service which complements their existing medical services (family GP etc). In the current economic climate UCD must change the way it funds this service. It is no longer possible to maintain a free service for all students. From September 7th 2009 students will be charged for services offered by the UCD Student health Service. These charges will enable UCD maintain the current level of medical services and also provide a platform for additional services. The services operated by UCD Student Counselling will remain free of charge.

UCD and the UCD Students Union are working together to ensure that these charges are introduced in a fair and considered fashion.

Medical Card

In parallel with this decision, UCD will conduct an information campaign to ensure that all students are made aware of how to establish their entitlements under the States Medical Card scheme. UCD Student health Service will facilitate the use of a Medical Card/GP Visit Card to cover applicable services where one is presented at time of appointment. Please refer to the UCD Student Handbook for further details or contact the UCD Students Union or visit www.hse.ie.

Student Welfare Fund

In addition, UCD will work with the various support structures within the university to ensure that no student will be deprived of health services due to financial difficulties.

The Student Welfare Fund is one such source of funding that can be accessed in case of financial difficulty. This can be instigated after a medical appointment. For further information on how to apply go to www.ucd.ie/student_welfare.htm#SWF or contact the UCD Students Union Welfare Officer, Scott Ahern (welfare@ucdsu.ie).


The following schedule of charges will apply from September 7th 2009.

Nurse visit: 10 euro*

Doctors visit: 25 euro

Psychiatrist Consultation: 40 euro

* If a student is referred by the nurse to a UCD doctor under the triage system, the 10 euro nurse charge will not apply.

Existing charges for special services such as travel vaccines will continue.

Services operated by UCD Student Counselling will remain free of charge.

Medical Bills

Payment for using the Student health Service will not be made at time of appointment; instead the appropriate charge will be made to the student's confidential health service account. No medical details are recorded on this. Where a student presents a valid Medical Card/GP Visit Card at the point of consultation, the charge will be zero.

Students will be expected to clear outstanding student health service account charges within 10 days of using the UCD health Service. Payment can be made by the student using a credit/debit card facility on the web. Receipts can be print as required.

In cases of financial difficulty an application to the Student Welfare Fund or other funding sources may be made after using the UCD health Service. All students presenting at the UCD Student health Service are treated independently of their health service account status.


Martin Butler, Vice-President for Students

Garry Redmond, SU President 2009/2010

author by Michael Daly - 3rd Medicinepublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't have a medical card yet i only have €70 a week to live on. If i get sick i'll have to skip a meal to go see the Doctor. I feel let down by my students Union.

author by Waynepublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thought nothing could be any worse than IBEC representing the TCD students union in a certain Industrial relations dispute but this shows how the UCD student Union has reached a right wing all time low. Demand there resignations and refuse to be affialiated with them-set up an alternative union-do NOT let them away with this.

author by Conorpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This would be hard, but it would be amazing.


ISU - Independent Students Union would be amazing.

How does one even go about setting up alternative union??

author by Big C - UCD Studentpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any ideas on building a campaign against the charges? They were successfully opposed and defeated when the Brady Bunch tried to bring them in a couple of years ago. I'd say it'd be worthwhile to set up a meeting on the issue sometime in the first week.

Wasn't all that surprised to see Redmond's signature in the email, lets not forget tghe political allegiances of this years sabbatical team..

Gary Redmond-FF
Donncha O' Suilleabhan-FF
Mike Pat O' Donohue- FF
Paddy Ryan-FG
Scott Ahearn-FG

author by Big Cpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually if anyone wants to email Redmond to voice their opinions i'll give you a hand..


seriously, its important to keep the pressure on

author by Wayne Tobinpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 14:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would be happy to give you advice how to do this if you wish to email me at wayneflanagantobin@live.ie.

It is very simple to do but obviously you will be at a disadvantage in terms of finance. But you start it with basic leaflets and posters and build up a group hold meetings and elect people who will speak out on the real issues-overtake the so called "Union" as they are now irrelevant as they have failed the Students miserably.

Maybe a name like " Students for Change" -it is a democracy so you cannot be stopped from doing this. It is in the wider democratic and social interest.

author by Pierce Farrellpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 14:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At least those are the steps you can take to try dissolve the current set-up. You can also use a referendum to oust the sitting president. If you want to ACT sooner rather than later a referendum could be held alongside the class rep elections, usually held close to or more likely in October.

The self-declared 'lefties' will obstruct ANYTHING that does not advance their own electoral prospects - you have been warned. (see related link)

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86587
author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Forming a new union is going to difficult. Remember the existing officers, useles and traitors though they be, were actualy elected by the students. They were not imposed on the students by the college administration.

It might be better to launch a campaign to recall the officers or even a specific referendum to commit the SU to oppose these charges.

A nw SU could be set up and it might have a couple of hunderd radical members but that would not represent the student body as a whole. Nor would it get any recognition.

So: throw the bums out! Dont leave them in control of the SU.

author by jackpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If Julian and co where in power where would they expect the funding to come from UCD has seen its budget cutback dramaticaly. Student services are not isolated in a bubble away from the recession.

author by Jay - UCD FEE and WSMpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Facebook group:


Boards.ie Thread:


author by 1st year studentpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See you on Friday.

author by The Sage.publication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 16:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"How does one even go about setting up alternative union??"

Old Irish Proverb:

In Ireland what is the first item on the agenda?......."When is the split?"

author by Conorpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ha ha ha

wise indeed...

author by Pierce Farrellpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 18:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Without debates, conflicts, without a war between opinion, no movement, including the workers’ movement is possible at all. But without a merciless fight against the degeneration of conflicts into quarrels and squabbles any organisation is impossible."
- Vladimir Ulyanov

When the Campaign for Free Education formed in 2002 it was a group formed from all parts of what's popularly called the left-wing political spectrum and members of the Labour Youth shower hitched a ride. They had meetings in lecture theatres, faced criticism for being too 'Arts centric' as many other courses do not allow students to devote as much time at they'd like to political activites but they one a referendum campaign that would have split UCDSU from USI. No bad thing I'm sure some of you are thinking but a very public split like that would have encouraged the then minister of Education, Noel Dempsey, to press on with the introduction of full fees. This was one of three challenges made to the full-time SU officers. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/19668

In terms of the 'local' student movement within UCD, the CFE were often viewed as a monolithic collection of smoked-salmon socialists. Certainly this was the view after they attempted to blockade the minister into the Veterinary building ( http://www.indymedia.ie/article/14873 ) and took their protest all the way to the office of the then SU president Aonghus Hourihane. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/15559

However, their participatory membership was larger than the then Students' Union Council and what did these members of CFE participate in? The Student Union elections! It was at this stage, January-February 2003 that the CFE split between those supporting a Labour Youth careerist and a Socialist Party careerist. The Labour guy won. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/32720

This is all history now but I post it up to point out the pitfalls that might be encountered by those starting in UCD this year and that you shouldn't pay any attention to the begrudgers. At the same time don't let yourself degenerate into a parody of your movement: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/71564

author by Fintan - WSM Corkpublication date Wed Aug 26, 2009 20:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are plans amongst students in the UCC to set up an anti-authoritarian and anti capitalist alternative Students union. Our union is also run by paid "representatives" who don;t give a fuck about the students and share a similar apathy towards the damaging effects of privatisation policies. An alternative union between colleges would be brilliant especially in offering an alternative from the current USI after their actions of clear censorship as they ordered for the words free education to be banned from the Ant-Fees demo in dublin last February.

author by John - UCCpublication date Thu Aug 27, 2009 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That is the most retarded idea ever, you'll get about 5 members, there are people in students unions who disagree with you so what, the fight fees cause is more important than your petty idelogical squabbles over the use of the word free. Such attitude is Union wrecking nonsense

author by Pierce Farrellpublication date Thu Aug 27, 2009 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Basically I woud suggest that if you haven't been involved in your Students' Union before this year that you get involved. This usually involves running for Class Rep. In terms of UCDSU this involves getting yourself nominated by ten of your classmates by Friday the 18th of September with the election being held two weeks later.

The overwhelming majority of class reps I've encountered in UCD (ESPECIALLY the self-declared 'left') usually take the attitude of 'compliance-comes-from-the-bottom-up' and never bother getting a single second of responsibility taking out of the PAID sabbatical officers. Become a class rep as part of an organised group then hang the sabbatical officers balls over the fire.

author by Godot - free education for everyone, ex-cfe (personal capacity)publication date Thu Aug 27, 2009 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is absolutely no point in setting up alternative unions, most SUs are based on direct/delegate democracy. It's not like there are tens of thousands of radical anti-capitalist students being held back by the unions - a radical student movement can only exist were there are radical students.

The problem is that student unions are seen as apolitical service providers which work in partnership with the college authorites. They end up as apologists for the shit that rolls downhill, like in this case.

author by Pierce Farrellpublication date Fri Aug 28, 2009 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It sounds like someone is bitter over their failure to ensure the cfe lasted for more than 18 months!

Direct democracy in an SU context usually means a referendum of all members. Most of the self-declared-left in UCDSU history have not liked that, especially when it would bring meaningful change. It was my mistake not to acknowledge and correctly handle the short-sighted immaturity of most UCD 'lefties' but the past is the past and the most important thing now is that mistakes are not repeated.

Delegates do not exist in UCDSU, not in any practical sense. That's why once elected as clas rep you are in a position to MAKE THE EFFORT to get the shit to roll back up the hill.

"There was no ‘science’ over and above the activity of men, independent of political commitments; ‘objectivity’ was often only a pretension to conceal implicit commitment to the status quo, and Marxists must argue in full awareness of their prior commitment, must behave responsibly, not as if they were idle dilettante by-, slanders." - Nigel Harris

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