Today the 'St. Michaels Estate Family Resource Centre' marked the One Year Anniversary of the Collapse of Public Private Partnership in their area by holding a Protest outside Head Office of Anglo Irish Bank.
Protest at Crumlin Children’s Hospital
Saturday May 23rd at 12pm
HSE hospital network manager John Bulfin stated in a letter to Crumlin Children’s Hospital in January: “Savings should be targeted to ensure frontline patient care services are appropriately maintained.”
This is what he means by maintaining appropriate patient care services.
· Because of a forecasted deficit of €9.6 million, three wards will shut down this year, starting with St Joseph ’s due to close on May 14th with two more to close in July and August.
· There will be over 7,000 fewer in-patient bed days at the hospital this year. Theatres will also close and there will also be a 15 per cent reduction in day case activity along with a 15 per cent reduction in outpatient activity.
· Two “play” specialists will be lost on May 14th. These specialists are crucially important for many children.
· It is expected that the contracts of 17 household workers will not be renewed in May. There will be cuts in agency staffing and in staff holding temporary contracts, and also in overtime and on-call payments.
Kerry General Hospital is being systematically run down by the HSE. The hospital is now facing a even deeper crisis with outpatients’ clinics closing for six weeks every year. Annagh Ward is closing at weekends with staff there being given only 24 hours to accept or transfer. The slim hopes that the recommendations in the Vision for Change report of January 2006 on the future of Mental Health policy in Ireland were dealt a devastating blow when e1,000,000 was knocked off the budget in Kerry. In the A&E, growing numbers of patients of all ages and all conditions are put on trolleys often for more than 24 hours due to the bed crisis at the hospital.
As if this wasn’t enough there still is no Diabetic consultant and proper Renal treatment. The Cardiology unit is significantly under-resourced, while the Angiography service which provides x-rays of blood vessels was closed down three years ago. The removal of Cancer Care services means that ill patients have to make a round-trip to Cork to be treated. Only recently has a Breast-Check Facility been announced. We need adequately funded health care at our hospital.
The crisis at Kerry General Hospital is caused to a large extent by the chronic shortage in staff numbers. This is what Michael Dineen the INO local representative had to say on this issue:
The closure of Amann Industries in Tralee, and the removal of over 300 workers’ jobs to China and Eastern Europe demonstrates that private industry is not a sustainable solution to unemployment. This is particularly true now, as the world economic system continues to fail, generally. If the world of business is supposedly the arena that is going to provide a solution to the latest crisis of capitalism, why can't it do so now?
The truth is that private enterprise provides jobs only as long as a maximum level of profitability is maintained for the owners and shareholders. Business, as business people will tell you, is not a social service.
In that case we now need the Irish state to step in and nationalise companies in difficulty, and preserve the jobs. If we can nationalise banks (at our expense) why cant we nationalise businesses? At the very least, we could inject a kind of Obama stimulus package to companies, in return for partial public ownership, with the state guaranteeing standards of employment and workers’ rights.
If high energy costs are a problem for industry, we also need the state to take back our energy resources, like the Corrib gas field, into public ownership. Then we could supply energy to companies as a service, stripped of the higher price necessitated by private energy companies’ quest for profits.
With over 6000 people on the Unemployment Live Register in the Tralee area, we certainly need a different kind of solution to job creation and job sustainability.
This afternoon members of the Save our Crumlin Children’s Hospital Campaign occupied the National Hospital Office of the HSE at Dr Stevens Hospital. They were joined by People Before Profit local election candidates Brid Smith and Cllr Joan Collins.
Brid Smith and Cllr. Joan Collins of People Before Profit alongside Teresa Shallow and Mary Byrne take on the Communications Officer of the HSE
They were protesting at cutbacks at Our Ladys Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin which include the closure of St Josephs ward from today.
Earlier this week the Campaign revealed that the due to a forecasted deficit of €9.6 million, three wards will shut down this year, starting with St Joseph ’s. Two more will close in July and August.