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Health crisis no accident

Gerry Casey - Letter to the Western People

SIR – Your editorial (August 3) rightly expresses concern over HSE plans to slash services at Mayo General Hospital and the health service in general.

Our health service is in crisis, a deliberately manufactured crisis. What has happened in recent years has been the systematic stripping down of services from hospitals around the country.

This is no accident. It is ideology driven and part of a deliberate strategy of running down the public health system, increasingly privatising all aspects of health care, including our hospitals.

The current economic crisis, brought about by a combination of greed and corruption, is being used as a smokescreen for implementing these cuts and privatising the public healthcare system.

Despite Government claims, there is no excuse for cutting funding and services for hospitals. The money to properly fund our health service is there, only they believe spending tens of billions on bank bailouts and possibly €10 million to welcome the English monarch are more important than spending on people’s health.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has attempted to justify his savage cutbacks saying there was “no pot of gold that can be raided from the wealthy that can solve our difficulties”. This is untrue. The business elite, who amassed billions of euros on the backs of workers throughout the Celtic Tiger, remain wealthy individuals. Despite the recession, the richest people in this country have got even richer.

Hundreds of billions of euro worth of oil and gas lie off the Irish coast, the rights to these resources given away by previous Fianna Fáil administrations. Those natural resources could be nationalised at the stroke of a pen.

Yet the Government has taken deliberate decisions not to nationalise these natural resources and not to tax the rich. Instead, they are content to reduce workers’ incomes and slash essential health and education services, including funding for our hospitals.

Yours sincerely,

Gerry Casey,
7 Rosewood Court,