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Sue Ramsey MLA - Health - Ard Fheis

26 May, 2012

As Irish Republicans it is our ultimate aim to create a new public health system that provides care to all, free at the point of delivery.

Regrettably, we do not live in a society such as this. The current circumstances have created an ever worsening situation where health inequalities are increasing.

As a consequence of British miss-rule, the six northern counties of Ireland has been underfunded resulting in health inequalities that affect all of our people. For years in the 26 counties, TD’s elected into Leinster House have acted in their own interest. People are paying the price.

The government parties are making the situation worse for the people of the 26 counties due to their ignorance and arrogance towards the Euro zone crisis. It is time we tackle the inequalities facing every aspect of life, particularly those related to health.

The inequalities we face as a nation are due to the wasteful duplication and lack of cooperation of health services across the island. The duplication is detrimental to everyone but particularily those whom live in rural communites and border constituencies

The reality is that health care is not easily accessible to those who need it leading people to attend A&E for care that should be provided within a community care setting. Current levels of community care for the elderly is unacceptable leading to many older people reaching an acute stage of illness requiring admission into hospital.

Currently A&E in our hospitals cannot facilitate those who need the service of this unit and recent stories have highlighted the amount of pressure that staff and medical professional are under on a day to day basis. This is clearly unsustainable. Hospital breaking point is not a target and for those wishing to cut services need to realize this.

Duplication of services means people in many rural areas across this island do not obtain the same quality of services as those provided in urban areas. But in urban areas the services accessible to working-class communities are inferior to those available in more affluent regions. This is a post code lottery and violates Ireland’s obligation under international human rights law to uphold the equal right for all its citizens to healthcare, free at the point of delivery.

Healthcare is a public right. It should not be reduced to a commodity or profit-driven and its delivery dictated by market rules. As a party who strives to create a better Ireland with equality at its core, it is our vision to establish this within health across this island.

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