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Search words: health

Dail passes 'close St Luke's Bill'

category national | miscellaneous | press release author Wednesday July 07, 2010 07:56author by Enid - Save St Luke's Cancer Hospitalauthor email st.lukes.rathgar at gmail dot comauthor phone 087 2319056 Report this post to the editors

Green votes doom St Luke's

Despite a 150,000 petition collected by patients and their families and extensive lobbying including a facebook campaign, government TDs would not accept amendments from Labour and FG which would have protected St Luke's and retained it as a public cancer hospital.

Despite being on record as supporting the campaign to save St Luke's, John Gormley did not even appear at the Dail debate while constituency collegues Ruairi Quinn and Lucinda Creighton spoke up for St Luke's. Also absent was Chris Andrews FF.

Dail passes ‘close St Luke’s bill’

Yesterday, despite extensive lobbying of senators, the health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was passed by the Seanad. The Bill transfers St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar to the HSE who will phase it out.

Officially, it won’t close until 2014 but Junior Minister Aine Brady said in her speech at second stage in the Seanad that ‘some staff are being transferred at the end of this year.'

In the Dail, the vote on Labour and FG amendments to save St Luke’s was lost by 4 votes. No Green TD attended the debate even though St Luke’s is in party leader, John Gormley’s constituency. All six green TDs appeared when the voting bells tolled to support Mary Harney.

It was the same story in the Seanad. No sign of the three green senators though there were there for the debate on the Social Welfare Bill which preceded the Luke’s debate. And when the voting bells rang, again they appeared.

The fact that a petition with 150,000 signatures was handed in supporting the saving of Luke’s did not impress government senators.

And even though a story broke on the morning of the Seanad debate about an appalling patient experience in a supposed centre of cancer excellence, government senators were not inclined to protect St Luke’s, an actual existing centre of excellence.

The only government senator to attend the debate was Senator Geraldine Feeney who is the FF Spokeperson on health.

After the vote, Luke’s campaigners were asked to leave the Dail, and one campaigner was threatened with the gardai. Their crime was to have shouted ‘Shame’ at Green TDs who happened to be in the Dail lobby at the same time.

author by Louisepublication date Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sad to read this. Harney was determined to close St Luke's

Hard to understand why the Greens would not support an amendment to the Bill - this would not have brought down the govt and therefore no threat to those ministerial pensions clocking up.

Perhaps they actually think it right that patients have no say in their treatment, that doctors always know best.

What, if anything, can be done now to save St Luke's?

author by Tpublication date Wed Jul 07, 2010 17:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Details of the bill and the various stages can be found on the Oireachtas website at the related link below.

The cover/title of the bill is:

Bill Number 25 of 2010
Sponsored by the Minister for Health and Children
Source: Government
Method: Presented
Status: New Bill

Bill entitled an Act to provide for the dissolution of the Saint Luke’s Hospital Board; to amend the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990, the Health Act 2007, the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 10 and the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009; to repeal section 44 of the Health Act 1947 and section 36(2) of the Health Act 1953; and to provide for related matters

The final version of the bill can be found at: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2010/2...d.pdf
Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 As Passed by Dáil Éireann

Related Link: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=15082&&CatID=59
author by Deirdrempublication date Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder whether we wil see the hospital closed, sold off to some consultants' consortium and then re-opened as a private centre.
This wouldn't surprise me at all, as this is the whole logic of what Harney has always been about.
It's a pity that the greens are supporting Harney here, but they have totally sold out, and will shortly follow the pds into oblivion.
It just can't happen fast enough for me, I mean for christs sake, they even vote against holding bye-elections - if that isn't voting against democracy, I don't know what it is.

author by Louisepublication date Thu Jul 22, 2010 17:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A consultant (one of the good guys who cares about public patients) suggested to me this weekend that one possible (ghastly) scenario would be the selling off of the land and buildings to UPMC (University of Pitsburgh Medical Centre) which owns the Beacon Hopsital and is a shareholder In the Whitfield private clinic, waterford which has HSE cancer contracts. UPMC is expanding into Europe and ireland in particular and there's money to be made in cancer.

As Minister, Harney now has the right to do whatever she likes with St Lukes.

She's announced 600 mill cuts in the health budget (Dec Budget). So why not spin the selling off to this outfit UPMC (which may have 'not for profit' status whatever that means) for their Irish corporate HQ with some nominal cancer services retained to help the spin that this is a good news story. UPMC helicopters would be well able to land on the 18 acres site.

the determination of Harney to push the Bil thro and to get the HSE running Luke's tells me there is another agenda - one so important that the Greens had to be kept on board even given Luke's is in Gormley's constituency. What were the Green's offered to support Harney here. Any suggestions?

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