Sue Ramsey MLA - health - Ard Fheis 2012
I would like to speak in favour of the health motion relating to the Compton Report; ‘Transforming your Care’. It is clear there is a need for health reform, not just in the north but within the entire country.
I would like to recognise that contained within this report, there is initiatives in which we support and commend; however, there are points in which we do not.
As a party, we are basing our judgement on how this report delivers healthcare for the needs of people and communities which targets inequalities.
It is obvious that it is essential to target health inequalities first to then have the ability to transform the system. Communities should be at the core of such transformation to enable a better outcome for patients.
With the right package of care and support, our vulnerable and elderly can remain at home, retentive of their dignity and independence. Carers provide an invaluable service, which benefits the entire community and we must not take them for granted.
Given the review team claims that Social Care will also be a central part of support provided to enable independent living, and in recognition of SCIE’s report “Preventing loneliness and Social Isolation Interventions and Outcomes”, we believe that an Increase in funding would allow for more community based initiatives which will meet people’s social and emotional needs and tackle social isolation.
“Home as the hub of care for older people” is a great ideal; the majority of older people wish to spend their later years in their own home. We understand, placing an elderly person into a nursing home, for most is the last option, but we believe this needs to stay an option. “The policy aim for some time has been to shift care from institutional settings to home and community settings”. Sinn Fein recognise this but believe that measures need to be taken to ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected, those living in poverty, those who have to make the choice between heating or eating.
Sinn Fein are committed to an all-Ireland Suicide Prevention Strategy, resourcing and implementation of this needs to be a priority for us all.
It is essential we take steps to safeguard against increasing levels of suicide in the current depressed economic climate. The most recent statistic shows that 799 people have taken their own lives in Ireland. Public participation is essential and strategies need to be implemented to create awareness amongst communities.
Overall we need effective services for those in need. Support and communication to families is key and we need to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are not the victim to cuts.
We are disappointed in that there is little or no reference to All-Ireland collaboration on a higher level and believe that any serious look at the future of Health Care in the six counties is not complete nor providing the best value for money for all citizens on this island without taking a serious look at All-Ireland Health Care.
Going forward there is clearly a need for a sensible all-island approach to be taken to delivering quality healthcare for citizens. This approach is viable and would enable this island to have an effective and proficient health care system for all.