Health crisis

The consequences and causes of the health care crisis in Ireland

Towards a Cure - WSM Health Pamphlet

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Radical health reform, in terms of creating equality and accessibility, and stopping the agenda of privatisation and for-profit medicine, is one of the great challenges facing Irish society.

In this pamphlet, anarchists explain the reasons why such change is needed, give examples of important first steps in creating change, and describe the type of struggle that is necessary if we are going to win.

A System in Need of a Cure

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The healthcare system, upon which people in Ireland depend, is an apartheid system. Simply put, some lives are worth more than others. Rare attempts at reform have been stymied by historic, chronic underspending and vested interests. This legacy has forced the vast majority of working people to take out private health insurance and has laid the foundations for a neo-liberal push towards an American-style system of private medicine.

Despite the “economic miracle” called the Celtic Tiger that has led to Ireland having a higher GNP per head of population than much of the rest of the EU, it lags behind in terms of health outcomes. At age 65 we have the lowest life expectancy in the EU for both men and women. Indeed, the gap between Irish and EU life expectancy has been widening. Infant mortality rates are above the EU average. We have above EU mortality rates for cancer and coronary heart disease. Despite Ireland’s incidence of breast cancer being among the lowest in Europe, the death rate in 2001 from breast cancer was the highest in EU15. To cap it all, we have a widening income gap, which analysis suggests will of itself worsen our health experience since greater inequality is associated with higher mortality rates.

In a State of Emergencies - Healthcare Workers Under Pressure

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As the number of patients reached a record high in recent days, healthcare workers in Emergency Departments (ED) in the country strive to maintain some acceptable standard of care delivery for patients. However nurses and doctors admit they are swamped and feel that current activity is unsustainable if the safety of patients is to be maintained. In some of the bigger centres in the country the huge backlog has created the situation where there is standing room only for ED patients. There is agreement among healthcare workers that the result of the over-crowding can only be increased morbidity and mortality for those requiring emergency treatment.

Healthcare workers protest over attacks on pay and working conditions

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Last Wednesday workers representing all the main trade unions organised token lunchtime protests outside all the main hospitals in Northern Ireland including the RVH and Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. These protests comes after the Tory led government in Westminster succeeded in passing its Health and Social Care bill through the houses of parliament on the 20thMarch.  The bill marks the greatest shake up of the NHS since 1948 continuing the pattern of previous administrations in terms of cuts to essential services, staff and privatisation including the outsourcing of services to private companies subsidised by the tax-payer.

Stormont healthcare cuts to blame for tragic death of hospital patient

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The tragic death of a 77 year old man who died alone and unnoticed waiting for treatment on a hospital trolley for 22 hours in Belfast’s main A&E ward in the Royal Hospital, is the result of savage healthcare cuts and the reduction of A&E services such as the closing down the ward in the Belfast city hospital last November.

Children wait two years for tonsils operation

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PEOPLE HAVE got so used to the health cuts over the last ten years that they just accept them as their lot. The situation on hospital waiting lists for public patients is now so farcical that people are being offered appointments two years away. The waiting list for tonsils operations in Crumlin Children's Hospital is now two years long. Tell them that the child is missing a lot of school because of tonsillitis and produce doctors letters to that effect and you will get an appointment in 15 months!

A Christmas Tale - Irish Health System experience

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Over Christmas I found myself at home babysitting my niece while myBeaumont Hospital "better half B" had to go to work. Around 3.00 o'clock B rang me in pain that was so intense I could not make out what she was trying to tell me. After a few attempts it turned out that she had pain in her lower belly and she was on her way to the GP. 
 

 

 

 

Health & Education workers strike across the north

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Thousands of health and education workers took strike actionyesterday across the North in protest against Budget cuts in the public service. The 24 hour strike action, the first in over 30 years involves all health workers except doctors, and some school staff.

Galway sees Day of action against Fine Gael think-in

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The Fine Gael party was confronted with angry scenes at not one but two different blockades during a meeting of the parliamentary party in Galway city yesterday.   Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his cabinet were attending their pre-budget think-in at the luxury Radisson hotel when some 30 students from the NUIG Free Education for Everyone (FEE) group and the Students’ Union blockaded the entrance in protest at the government’s policy of education cuts, registration fee increases and the ever-looming prospect of full fees.  They were joined by two dozen members of the Save Roscommon Hospital Alliance who were equally intent on showing the Fine Gael party what they think of their callous indifference to the welfare of the working class. 

Resist plans to close Belfast City A&E

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The cut-backs in essential public services continues unabated with plans by the Northern Ireland Health minister Edwin Poots to close the Belfast City A&E award by October. This is an attack not only on the staff but the entire community and should be treated as such.

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