Healthcare should be about looking out for people’s health and should incorporate preventative medicine – this CAN be done if we move away from the profit driven model towards a health-care for health’s sake. Less sick people means – less healthcare costs! Our health is our wealth!
Last December, in a telling interview, the HSE Director General (read Chief Executive) Tony O’Brien said the HSE was living a “death sentence” and had “no plan, no money and no vision for health in Ireland”.
Well, what more do we need? The man charged with overseeing the monster that is the HSE calls a spade a spade – the health service is a disaster! And nobody is doing anything to sort it, and they won’t while we have the involvement of special interests (Read Denis O’brien and his likes) looking for their private hospitals and practices to make profits.
We need a new and fresh approach to health-care in our country. But not the privatization approach which is the direction in which the establishment are heading. The NHS was created in 1948 at a time when the UK was broke – here’s an advert for it and the argument made for it!
The reliance on the private sector to provide public goods and the privatisation myth has got to end. Privatisation costs the general public more. The private health insurance model serves the people at the top, the middle men, and the private health insurance companies only. What we need is a properly funded and working public health service. We need universal healthcare for all and it can be done.
A report published in 2010 called Universal Health Insurance: The Way Forward for Irish Healthcare prepared for the Adelaide Hospital Society purposed a universal healthcare system where people would get care regardless of their standing or financial circumstances. Drawing on best international practice, it recommended an alternative to the two-tier system in operation right now. Under the recommendations we could have a Social Health Insurance model which would provide health services for all. Their research is to be commended and provides costed alternatives to the current set-up. Under their model each citizen would be provided with GP care, medicines, and hospital care equally.
The whole thing is set upon the principle of social solidarity. In a Social Health Insurance funded health system the basic underlying principle which applies is ‘access on the basis of clinical need, payment on the basis of income or wealth’. The system proposed involves all citizens being covered and having equal access to care and treatment to a common ‘basket’ or set of health services.
With Fine Gael’s health model, the only parties to gain from this are the private insurers – the rest of us are to be left to suffer.
The direction that this government and Minister Varadkar are/were going is driven by a political ideology which sees privatisation and the market as the way forward. This ideology is what brought us the massive problems over the past couple of years. It was private banks and private speculators and developers who brought ruin. And it was us the people of this state who had to bail the whole lot out in the end. We are paying for these private outfits but we get nothing in return only more bills. There are real alternatives once we pursue the public interests. It’s time we looked after people and it can be done we can and should have real services in this country all we have to do is do away with the establishment parties and their market/profit-driven approach.
More: There is a new A&E facility at St. Lukes which has been finished since November and was supposed to open in January. Reports are that now it won’t be opened until July due to a lack of money to equip it and staff it. Another building lies dormant because of the privileging of banks, bondholders, multinationals (Apple’s €19 billion, Google etc.) above the needs of people.
Stop voting for these politicians please – a pet isn’t just for Christmas and a politician isn’t just for nice photos, smiles, and kissing babies. Politicians are supposed to be public servants and supposed to look out for the public interest not private and special interests! We need to learn from our experience of these parties and stop electing politicians which are happy to be in them.