Independent Media Centre Ireland

Harney moves to close St Luke's Cancer Hospital

category national | miscellaneous | press release author Sunday June 13, 2010 18:40author by Enid - Save St Lukes Hospitalauthor email st.lukes.rathgar at gmail dot com

The only HSE success story and Harney determined to close it by the end of this Dail session

Campaigners for St Luke's Cancer Hospital in Rathgar thought that the decision not to make it the southside Centre of Excellence in 2005 which meant closure and a move to St James Hospital had been indefinitely suspended due to the local and national opposition.

But no, Minister Harney who always knows best ,has a Bill before the Dail at the moment with the innocent title Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 which will dissolve the board of St Luke's and transfer the valuable 18 acre site and the other assets to the dysfunctional HSE who might well sell the land at a bargain price to balance their books.

Anyone who cares about this great hospital needs to get onto TDs immediately especially John Gormley and Chris Andrews.

With the world cup, and thoughts of summer holidays, the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 currently going through the Dail isn’t attracting much attention.

But people should pay attention, according to cancer survivor Joe Guilfoyle, because the Bill will close St Luke's Cancer Hospital, Rathgar and move services to the 'centre of excellence' at St James' Hospital. And the valuable 18 acre site on which St Luke’s stands and all other assets and equipment will be transferred to the dysfunctional HSE.

“St Luke’s is one of the few success stories of our public health system. It’s a hospital that patients like me are happy to travel to. It’s unacceptable that the Minister is attempting to close St Luke’s at the end of a Dail session with this innocent sounding bill”.

Guilfoyle says the decision to close St Luke’s was flawed.

“There was no patient input, and since then, the projected numbers of new cancer cases by 2020 has risen by 50% from 28,000 to 42,000. A panel of six ‘experts’ advised the Minister on which hospitals should be the ‘cancer centres of excellence.

“If you chose the right experts you get the recommendation you want. I know from information received under FOI that these ‘experts’ gave St Luke’s poor marks under the category ‘existing service.’ As a St Luke’s patient this is inexplicable.”

The Campaign to Save St Luke’s, of which Guilfoyle is Chair, had assumed the Minister’s decision to close St Luke’s in 2005 had been put on the long finger, and in effect dropped, following opposition both locally and nationally.

Since the decision to close St Luke’s, millions have been spent on the latest equipment and improving facilities at St Luke's - paid for by the taxpayer and fundraising by the Friends of St Lukes.

“It makes no sense to close it on financial grounds alone,” says Joe. “Our Campaign is calling for people to lobby their TDs immediately to save this national asset.”

St Luke’s is in Minister John Gormley’s Dublin South East constituency. Residents are already angry about his apparent inability to prevent a large incinerator in Ringsend. He faces an awkward choice between supporting his cabinet colleague Ms Harney and the certain loss of his seat at the next election.

The Bill had its second stage debate in the Dail on June 3rd and Minister Harney intends to have it on the statute book by the end of the current Dail session, which provisionally ends on July 8th.


Joe Guilfoyle 087 7937201
Enid O’Dowd 087 2319056


Comments (11 of 11)

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author by Adam Busbypublication date Mon Jun 14, 2010 07:18author address author phone

There was a lot of hand wringing in the Labour TDs' speeches on the bill but at no point did any of them say they would vote against it. Only the Shinners have said that they will.

author by Martinpublication date Mon Jun 14, 2010 22:11author address author phone

St Lukes is an actual existing and recogonised functioning "Centre of Excellence", as oppossed to an envisaged one.

This is a suggestion which does not take up much time but I know personally from the time when they were going to scrap the OAP medical card it is Very effective.

The central number of Dail Eireann is 01 6183333, from there you ask to be put on to your local TD.

Phone in and ask him or her what are they doing to stop this act of health sabotage ?

Also, ask your friends and relations to do the same and ask them to ask their friends and relations to the same etc.

Maybe also convene a Public Meeting in Rathmines or in Dublin centre and invite all TDs to attend to explain their position.

Beir bua

Shell to Sea and the Resources of Ireland for the People of Ireland

author by TDpublication date Tue Jun 15, 2010 14:54author address author phone

Only Sinn Féin, Finian McGrath and Maureen O'Sullivan stood against the bill.

author by Enid - Save St Lukes cancer Hospitalpublication date Wed Jun 16, 2010 14:15author email st.lukes.rathgar at gmail dot comauthor address author phone

The Bill to close St Luke's - Health(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 goes to committee stage on Thursday June 24th - meeting starting 12.15pm. Please lobby the members - details and emails below.

Select Committee on Health and Children

Sean O’Fearghail (FF)
Kildare South

Vice Chair
Jan O’Sullivan (Lab)
Limerick East

Government Convenor
Margaret Conlon (FF)
Cavan Monaghan

Opposition Convenor
Kathleen Lynch (Lab)
Cork North Central

Bernard Allen (FG)
Cork North Central

Bobby Aylward (FF)

Niall Blaney (FF)

Paul Connaughton (FG)
Galway East

Beverley Flynn (FF)

Dan Neville (FG)
Limerick West

Charlie O’Connor (FF)
Dublin SW

Rory O’Hanlon (FF)
Cavan Monaghan

James Reilly (FG)
Dublin North

author by Martinpublication date Thu Jun 17, 2010 22:27author address author phone

R T E has a legal remit to broadcast public interest issues.

This week RTE has broadcast inordinate and in depth coverage of the Fine Gael row and tussle. Mind numbing and detailed "analysis" is devoted to this squabble for power.

At the same time we have being pushed through the Dail this bill, to empower Harney to dissolve St Lukes, sell the site to builder buddies( if deemed necessary !!! ) AND to " remove the Health Service Executive's duty to provide an Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance."

The latter item is on the Statute Book since 1947, circa the time when we had the introduction of the welfare state in a more substantial form for the first time in this country.

There is no coverage of these issues, yet they are historical and of critical importance to people's live and their well being.

The licensed State broadcaster who never ceases from reminding us to pay up the licence or else.... should be harassed and harried on this issue.

Their silence on this is tantamount to complicity in an atrocity.

author by lazypublication date Fri Jun 18, 2010 13:45author address author phone

The man is both a Minister and sited in the constituency, indeed , he was elected on
this and other issues of concern to Fight FF !!!

The other major issue was of course the Poolbeg Incinerator and now it appears he's
hiding parcels of dogshyte in relation to the DDDA!!!

Gormley will doubtless be voted out of DSE cos he is lukewarm and provides a clearing
house for FF/PD privatisation BUT he needs to be put on the record as opposing Ms
Harney's craven failures in healthcare, so he won't be able to cover it when he approaches
the doorsteps.

Gormley needs to be asked why he continues to enforce through his support for Government
and budget these policies which are completely opposed to what he set out on the doorsteps.


author by Louisepublication date Fri Jun 18, 2010 18:14author address author phone

back in dec 2007 i attended a march from Luke's into the city centre.

Gormley was minister then. he sent one of his special advisors Ryan meade to represent him. Mr Meade addressed the crowd and said that Minister Gormley supported the campaign to keep Luke's open and it was a centre of excellence already.

Gormley could stop this if he chose to by instructing the green TDs to vote against it.

personally i think his spin will be that the site will be used for some some other health use and isn't that grand!

author by lazypublication date Fri Jun 18, 2010 21:22author address author phone

I was at the same protest.

Do you think that Gormley's advisors earn grands per year to spin cos they couldn't retain a co-opted
seat or that they turn up cos he doesn't really care about his local vote? Sure lots of people in DSE
are directly effected by Green ineffectuality in Poolbeg/Ringsend/Merrion, In the old Glass Bottle plant and in St Lukes!!!

Imagine that- This party supports and applauds FF/PD policy without recourse to their electorates and
none moreso than the man who holds and warms Dick Roche's chair.

They still have to go to the doorsteps.

author by lazypublication date Sat Jun 19, 2010 17:17author address author phone

I suggest a bit of focus on his DSE constituency is in order. it just takes one bowling ball
to knock his pins down , thats the DDDA (btw)

author by Louisepublication date Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:04author address author phone

I see letters in the Indo and Times this week about Harney's sneaky Bill. we should write in opposing the Bill to keep the matter alive..

very little media coverage of this - shows their priorities!

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:41author address author phone

Well we got G K editing the (anglo)Irish shapeshifting Times, former PD TD.We have the T. O'R(eill)Y Independent group. Denis O'Brien's corporate radio and the well bought RTE mic-jocks who are not likely to be spotted in the public A&E queue.Any scraps of local papers or stations are so dependent on advertising or govt subsidy they cannot do their watchdog job of barking anything other than in consensual chorus.We seem to be down to grafitti and Indy for the moment, and the stoking agin the grafitti brigade is constant, lest some Banksy challenge our wuncha bankers.Long live our current host.

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