Government appear to be deliberately running down the public health system
In what seems to be yet another cut in the “death by a thousand cuts” being inflicted on the public health system by successive governments, Fine Gael are hinting that 21 public nursing homes that require upgrade work to keep them up to standard may have to close because of lack of available funding for the work.
Now wasn’t it only last week they were talking about solving the A&E crisis which is primarily caused by beds being blocked up in wards, many of them we were told because there were insufficient beds available in convalescent care and nursing homes. So does this make any sense at all to say one thing and then do the opposite?
Watch this space because we would lay odds that although they say there is no money to pay for this upgrade work, there will be plenty of funds available from the public purse to pay for private nursing homes, and we imagine plenty of establishment figures are already heavily invested in those companies. Former health minister James Reilly famously has investments in this area.
The evidence beneath the rhetoric appears to show that this and previous governments’ intention is, and has perhaps always been, to run down the public health service and replace it with a fully privatised system. It goes back many years. One only has to look at the amount of privatisation that went on during Mary Harney’s tenure when she was charged with looking after our public health system. It is interesting that after she stepped down she ended up as a director on a number of private healthcare, insurance and pharmaceutical companies (on top of a €130,000 Dáil pension).
We recognise a trend here, a trend that mirrors the same pattern as the UK, where a once great public health service, that was the envy of the world, was run into the ground and propagandised through government statements to the press as not fit for purpose, only to be sold off to private for profit health providers, many of which had shareholders from the same political class that were supposed to maintain the public system. This appears to what is happening in Ireland.
If we had direct democracy the people could collect 100,000 signatures over 18 months and bring their own legislative proposal to a vote to decide whether they want to maintain and enhance their public health system so it serves the entire population based on medical need as the primary driver.
21 nursing homes might have to close – says Taoiseach
The Taoiseach has admitted there is not enough money to fix all 21 nursing homes that could be closed because they are not up to standard.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) warned the public nursing homes could have to close by the summer.
None of the facilities have been earmarked for capital investment in the HSE service plan for this year.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused the Taoiseach of failing to give certainty on the issue – Enda Kenny says the Government is looking to see if they can get around the demands of HIQA: