Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Harney promotes private health profiteers while public health system crumbles - Ellis

24 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Dessie Ellis has described as 'obscene' the participation of Health Minister Mary Harney in a Private Health Conference in Dublin designed to further the privatisation of Irish health services. Dublin Sinn Féin held a protest outside the Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry.

Speaking at the protest, Cllr. Ellis said:

"Mary Harney is officially opening and participating in a Private Health Conference designed to further the privatisation of the Irish health services. It is an obscenity. This is an exclusive event with participants paying over €500 each to register. Tickets for the gala dinner cost €250 plus VAT and exhibitors are paying €3000 for a stand at the conference.

"While Minister Harney promotes private health profiteers our public health system is crumbling. In nearby Beaumont Hospital people are lying on trolleys in A&E. There are not enough isolation units and single rooms for patients suffering from the highly infectious MRSA bug. The long-promised psychiatric unit has been deferred again because the site has been given over to one of Minister Harney's precious 'co-located' private for-profit hospitals. And HSE cutbacks are affecting patient care across Dublin and across the country.

"The Fianna Fáil/PD Government bears collective responsibility for the shambles of our public health service. They cannot hide behind Mary Harney and she cannot hide behind the HSE. Sinn Féin is campaigning for real health reform, a single-tier public system, an end to State funding of the private health business and all State health funding to go to the public system only with equal access for all based on need alone." ENDS

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