Dublin Sinn Féin picket Private Healthcare Conference
Speaking at a protest against Health Minister Mary Harney’s hospital co-location plan at the Private Healthcare Conference in Dublin today Sinn Féin Councillor Dáithí Doolan said healthcare should be a right and not a commodity for making people rich.
Councillor Doolan said, “We are protesting here today because this conference is basically putting a price tag on the health of our citizens. This has no place in any modern society. Minister Harney should be ashamed of herself for promoting a healthcare system that discriminates against the poor and those who cannot afford to pay. Every man, woman and child should have the right to top quality healthcare regardless of the ability to pay. Healthcare should not be used as a commodity for making people rich.
“While we are not absolutely opposed to the right of people to establish private healthcare facilities, we argue very strongly that they should not be subsidised with public money and land. Minister Harney plans to giveaway land at public hospitals along with public money in the form of massive tax-breaks to developers of private for-profit hospitals. She is preparing to sign contracts with developers at the end of her term of office and ahead of a general election, legally tying the hands of the State to this deal regardless of which parties make up the next Government.
“This plan will see the two-tier system reinforced with privileged people guaranteed instant access to private hospitals built with State aid on public land while public patients suffer and die on waiting lists and in queues.
“Minister Harney is this evening due to give the closing address at this conference, which, incidentally, the Health Service Executive is a partner to. We are here to remind her that her plan is wrong and to call on her to scrap it before the contracts with the developers are signed, legally tying the State’s hands to this disastrous plan.
All Government health spending should be in the public system only with equal access for all based on need alone.” ENDS