Not content with threatening striking nurses, and letting the children’s hospital costs rip, this government is refusing to acknowledge the right of AMBULANCE WORKERS to be represented by the union of their choice. And shame on Finian McGrath, a supposedly Independent Left TD, himself a former trades unionist, standing in for Harris’s and doing his dirty work. Nasra Eire Abú!

I spoke in the Dáil today on the nurses strike. In the gallery were nurses, student nurses and their union reps. Shamefully, Minister Donohue saw fit not to attend and Minister Harris left early. Shame on them. There is a simple solution to this dispute PAY THE NURSES

OUTSOURCING KILLS! Last night on TV3, I explained that the Scally report showed the US labs that did Irish smear tests were not accredited by international standards. Minister Harris told me, via Parliamentary Questions (PQs) in May, that they were! And subsidiaries of these labs are getting the contract again – even after their shoddy work produced results that ultimately, saw women die unecessarily.

We also saw the agony of little Sophia, with scoliosis, who is waiting for treatment for 18months.Last year Minister Harris promised no child in this condition would wait more than 4 months. But HEY! The econonomy is booming – we’re told. Happy Days – we’re told! Not for little Sophia and children like her. We have THE WORST WAITING LISTS IN EUROPE for health services – over 700,0000 people on lists. Is this a measure of our ‘success’ Minister?

Patrick Foley, in my constituency, is going blind unecessarily. His problem is he’s poor. He could have the cataract surgery he needs, if he could pay upfront for it, under the NTPF scheme, but he lives only on his allowance as a carer for his wife, who has MS. He would need €3000. He hasn’t got it. So he’s going blind. This recording is of my exchange with Minister Catherine Byrne (minus some of the blah, blah, blah) on the last day of the Dáil before Summer recess

 

Q: What causes Ireland’s incredibley long waiting lists for health care? A: Political descision making. By running down the public service, people are forced into paying in the private system; result = profits up for the private service providers – insurance companies, private hospitals etc etc .And waiting times in the public sector get ever longer