18 February 2010 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

Spins and scare stories

IT never ceases to amaze me how easily the electorate in general can be manipulated and fooled by spins and scare stories emanating from governments in order to cover up their own shortcomings.
Remember the iodine tablets that were sent to every house in the country in case we were ever nuked. Imagine the cost involved in that whole rigmarole.
The next one up was the mad cow disease, followed closely by the chicken flu; racing on then it was pig flew (sorry swine flu).
Each one of these headline stories warned of catastrophic and dire consequences if we eat this or didn’t eat that, but when the dust settles on each episode what happens?
Funeral directors did not have to add to their staff to deal with the impending influx of bodies to the funeral parlours. The predicted doom scenarios never materialised.
It’s all about controlling people and their thoughts. Think about the stories that Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan spun out about what would happen if the banks were allowed to collapse; everyone would turn their backs on us, no one would lend us money, we’d be so poor that the Shetland islands could buy us for a pittance to use as an offshore bank.
The reality of it went more like this, scare the living daylights out of us, then take our (taxpayer) money, shovel it into these laundering institutions masquerading as banks, and then, before we realise what’s happening, we have to pay them for borrowing our money to keep the same big boys in their jobs and to pay their huge bonuses.
What a privilege. Wouldn’t things have been a lot simpler if Brian Lenihan had paid off all or some of the mortgage holders who are now having serious difficulty with their repayments after losing their once secure jobs? If only.
Gort An Choirce,
Dun nGall


Health cuts scandal

THE Dublin Government and the HSE have come up with a plan that is undertaking a very high-risk strategy this year to ease pressure on hospital beds and improve patient care.  A reduction of 33,000 in admissions from hospital emergency departments, an overall cut of nearly 6% in in-patient care, further bed closures and savings measures of €106 million for 2010 are outlined in the HSE’s latest service plan, which has been approved by Health Minister Mary Harney.  The plan to cut admissions will cause the greatest concern, as it is not clear exactly where the 33,000 patients will be diverted to.
This is another plan to reduce our health care service.  Many of the alternative care pathway plans for these patients have not yet been implemented or are at best vague. What is made clear in the plan, however, is that there will be a continuing reduction of inpatient bed capacity in hospitals.
To put it into plain terms, such a plan is a death sentence for some patients and more agony for others.  Ireland already has the worst health care system of the EU and now the politicians in Dublin are trying to get more cutbacks. 
The minister says the planned 33,313 reduction in emergency admissions will be achieved through increasing access to the specialist skills and senior clinical decision-making available in hospital medical assessment units, diagnostics including x-rays and other ambulatory care services.
However, the HSE has admitted that these assessment units, in which patients can be processed more quickly, are still not available in many hospitals.  In addition, it has yet to be clarified how 10,000 patients are going to be given better access to diagnostic testing, including x-rays, and thereby avoid having to be admitted to a hospital bed.
This is another calamity from the government, another calamity that adds cutbacks to an already under pressure health service.
County Mayo


A deserving honoree

I have just read the interview Ella O’Dwyer did with my old friend and comrade Jack Brogan. It’s typical of Jack to tell it as it is, that’s the nature of the man.
He was and still is a great inspiration to me and all who came to know him down through the years. He thoroughly deserves this award for all the service he has given to the republican cause in his life.
His wife Rosie deserves to share in this honour for the part she played in the struggle and for standing steadfastly behind Jack in difficult times. Well done to both of them.
Donegal (Offaly) 


Disgraceful health service

MY little daughter aged seven just received her eye appointment for February 2011. Did someone say that things are improving?
Dublin 22 

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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