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News / March 28, 2008

Unions rally for a decent public health service

by Guy Hiscott

The Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Congress Youth Committee are campaigning for a decent public health service.

According to Des Derwin, President of the DCTU, the decline in the health services can be directly attributed to the drive towards privatisation. ‘The only way we can safeguard the interests of patients and staff is by defending and improving the public health services,’ he said.

National nursing official of the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union, Louise O’Reilly, said ‘If we want to stop the decline of our public health services we must let this Government see how we feel.

‘In announcing details of Budget 2008, the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, said health funding was up 9% to prioritise services for older people, people with disabilities, and cancer control strategy. The Minister said the Budget would provide an additional €344m current and €52m capital for the Health Vote Group (HSE, Office of the Minister for Children, Department of Health and Children). Where is all this money going? Has anyone actually seen any improvement in our health services?

‘Enough is enough. We are calling on all trade unionists, health professionals, patients groups, health workers, and anyone with an interest in our public health system to join with the trade unions on March 29 and show support for their demand for a decent public health service now.’

Saturday 29 March 2008 at 3.00pm; assemble at Gardens of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin.