Monday, May 25, 2009

The people deserve a first class health service

In recent times we have witnessed savage cutbacks being imposed right across our health service. Hospitals nationwide, including Sligo General Hospital (SGH) and Our Lady's Hospital, Manorhamilton are being decimated by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and their political masters.

In recent times we have seen the HSE attempt to unilaterally undermine the rights and working conditions of employees in relation to sick pay. We have seen vital services being downgraded and withdrawn. These include the closure of an orthapaedic ward as well as the hospital’s Stroke unit, despite HSE denials, and the ongoing planned removal of our much needed cancer care services to Galway. Nurses and other front line staff are losing their jobs in significant numbers causing huge concern for staffing levels and the impact that this will have on patient safety at the hospital.

What we are witnessing is the health and well-being of people being made to suffer to pay for the incompetence of the HSE and the greed of the politicians, developers and bankers that squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger. éirígí insist that they must not only reverse the cutbacks but they must upgrade the esential services in our hospitals. They must also abandon completely their failed policies of a two–tier system of medical apartheid and privatisation of health care, all of which is based on a failed right wing ideology.

Their system has failed but there is a clear, workable and just alternative to ward closures, lengthy waiting lists, private hospitals on public land and exessive charges. éirígí believe what is now needed more than ever is the building of a first class health service that is truly free and equal, based solely on medical need and not ability to pay. A world class health service for all. The Irish people deserve no less.

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