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Sinn Féin to protest at four Dublin Hospitals in campaign against public land for private hospitals

5 August, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has this morning announced details of Sinn Féin protests due to take place at four Dublin Hospitals next week (Wednesday 9th).  Speaking at a press conference in Dublin this morning Ms. McDonald said the protests are part of Sinn Féin’s campaign against the use of public land for private hospitals.

She said, “As part of Sinn Féin’s campaign against the use of public land for private hospitals Dublin Sinn Féin will hold protests at the four sites in Dublin were land is to be handed over to private developers under Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney’s ludicrous scheme.

“Under her scheme inequality in access to healthcare will increase, the public healthcare system will be undermined and its income reduced and the pockets of dozens of companies will be lined to the tune of hundreds of millions at the expense of the Irish tax-payer.

“There has been no debate in the Oireachtas about this scheme, no consultation with the health sector or with the Irish public for that matter and there has been no published rationale for this scheme.  Furthermore, it was revealed just yesterday that one the companies that has made bids to run six of the eleven private hospitals to be built on these sites is linked with a company that is facing serious fraud charges in the US.  This company is already set to run the Beacon private hospital in Sandyford which Mary Harney personally opened. 

“There is an alternative to Harney’s scheme.  That is a healthcare system funded from the public purse, where the best value for money can always be delivered. There should be a rejuvenation of the primary care strategy which was effectively abandoned by this government. And there must be investment to provide the healthcare system the Irish people deserve, not a monument to inequality and government indifference.” ENDS

Note -  Protests will take place at the following hospitals:

St. James Hospital – 11am (This will be attended by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Councillor Críona Ní Dálaigh) 

Beaumount Hospital – Kilmore Road entrance – 7.30pm

James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown – 6.30pm

Tallaght Hospital – 6pm

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