I think some people are confusing a reform of the health service and reduction of the budget, they are two totally different things. The Tories for example are going to totally change the NHS without reducing the overall amount of money going to health. If it works they will get more for the same amount of money. We will get less for less, while being told we will get the same for less. Lies.
Whereas it’s correct to look for cuts at the top etc., in truth that is the line we always hear before cuts at the bottom and front line. The guys on 150k a year sitting in an office in government building had their cuts reversed for example, but temp nurses have been let go all over the country in recent weeks.
The debate now is whether we close the 2 billion gap in December with tax or cuts. The government is clearly saying it has to be cuts and health will be the number one area for them. The propaganda is that the “cuts will be from the top down”. The truth is this does not now and never has and won’t happen. In Dec. beds for patients and front line staff will be in the firing line. The Croke park deal is very carefully crafted to exclude anyone that works outside of core office hours from protection from pay cuts – that is where the axe will fall as well as any staff not on permanent contracts.
Although there will of course be some waste to be found here as there is anywhere, it is not where I would start looking. I would not even start in hospitals.
People have a genuine opinions about waste in the Public Services, but it is used by people “at the top” to avoid paying fair tax rates or indeed having any efficiencies applied to them.
The 2 billion is coming from cuts and most of it will be from health, as education is ring fenced. The idea that those cuts will come from “waste at the top” is a joke, it will not: it will come directly from the care of the weakest in society. Staff will again be demonized for not “shielding” patients from the cuts. It is disgusting and very dishonest.
So, if you are focusing your mind on “waste” you are being had for a laugh by people like Harney, your argument is music to her ears as it clears a path for massive cuts and a plan to lay the blame at the door of staff when a service collapses. You may not support her directly, but by not looking to everyone in society to take sacrifices to provide a first world health service you are ideologically a fellow traveller. We spend a pathetic amount of money on health (private and public) in this country and we have just decided to pay less to maintain the low tax rates in the EU. That is a wider society problem than simply one for staff in the service to deal with.
The real truth is that people will vote for health cuts so long as it avoids more taxes . In Dec. nobody will go ape sh!t when home help is removed or 12 beds close in the local hospital, but if there was a property tax etc they would. The TDs are only responding to this.
Reform of the Health service is another subject, I could write a book on ways I would structurally change the service to make it more efficient and better to use, but it is not a reason to slash health spending to protect tax breaks for parasites.
We are paying a lot less tax than 5 years ago, the idea that we can ignore that is a joke. 1,333 beds closed to date around the country and not one senior person in the system is affected. Get on to your TD and tell him/her that you want the cuts starting the other way around.
None of these cuts are starting at the top…
Xray 23. 7. 2010