Severe health cuts hit the West

As HSE West faces a deficit of €90 million by the end of the year, there has been a range of proposals to cut costs put forward in recent weeks. A report from UK consultants, Mott MacDonald, suggest up to 1,000 temporary jobs could be cut and even a whole hospital could be closed as part of a plan to save between €44 and €54 million.

As HSE West faces a deficit of €90 million by the end of the year, there has been a range of proposals to cut costs put forward in recent weeks. A report from UK consultants, Mott MacDonald, suggest up to 1,000 temporary jobs could be cut and even a whole hospital could be closed as part of a plan to save between €44 and €54 million.

Since then, up to 5,000 people protested in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal at the start of August against threatened cuts of €8 million which would lead to around 120 job losses, ward closures and the downgrading of services.

A 2,000-strong demonstration to oppose any downgrading of hospital services at Portiuncula also took place in Ballinasloe, Co Galway on 17 August. The 197-bed hospital serves east Galway and south Roscommon and is faced with an end of year budget over-run of between €5 million and €7 million.

The HSE is planning to cut €24 million from University College Hospital Galway’s (UCHG) budget and more than €18 million from community services. If these cuts are implemented, it would mean the devastation of services and jobs in the area. On 25 August, around 100 health workers protested against these plans. A joint union campaign, entitled Save Our Services (SOS) was also launched.

The Galway says No to Health Cuts campaign is also campaigning against the cuts to Galway hospitals. This campaign was only initiated recently and involves individual patients and members of the community as well as political organisations and trade union officials. Members of the Socialist Party in Galway are also working with the campaign. A protest is likely to take place in September in Galway City.

In order to defeat the cuts, a strong campaign of hospital staff, patients and the community needs to be built in Galway as well as the other areas that are affected by these cuts. These campaigns should then link up to together fight the government’s plans. Protest will be very important but strike actions by hospital workers would really show strong the opposition to the government’s plans and would be key in forcing the government to back down.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Anglo losses mount up... Let the speculators take their losses!

Next Article

“First prize in Ireland for hypocrisy goes to the government for its response to the downgrading of Ireland's credit rating."

Related Posts
Read More

Feature: Health in Crisis

The crisis in our health service is continuing, and in fact is being made worse by the vicious cutbacks being imposed by this government. In this special feature Socialist Party reporters from around the country give a glimpse not just of the crisis, cutbacks and closures, but also of the fightback.

Read More

FF & Greens – Destroying our health service

By Michael Murphy

THE DESTRUCTION of our health service by the government continues apace. Having completely failed to establish a proper functioning and accessible health service during the boom years the government are pursuing their agenda of cut backs and service closures across the country.

While there was an increase in health funding during these years the reality is that the cuts of the 1980s have never been undone. The 3,000 beds that were cut then haven’t been replaced and health funding only ever reached 90% of the EU average.