Tomorrow, Saturday, a health protest is due to take place in Dublin and I’m in need of your help.
The main objective of the MARCH & RALLY is to have a large gathering of trade unionists, patients, health campaigners and the general public to demand:
– an end to privatisation of the Health Service
– an end to cutbacks
– a first-class, equitable Health Service
The protest has been organised by the Public Health Service Campaign (PHSC) group which is an alliance of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, the Youth Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Patients Together. The campaign is supported by the Health trade unions and a wide range of patients, hospital and medical campaigners.
In the run up to the imminent budget, the campaign aims to put a stop to the underfunding of our Health Service. In recent years, we’ve seen chaos in our A&E Departments, a shortage of hospital beds, reduced services for the elderly, cutbacks in funding for disability services, the misdiagnosis of cancer patients, and an alarming rise in the rate of hospital acquired infections such as MRSA and C. difficile.
“On October 11, we will demand not only that the cutbacks end, but that we get the first class health service we deserve. The PHSC is calling on all trade unions, patient and hospital campaigns, community organisations and the general public to get out on the streets on the day, to achieve the loudest possible protest,” said Patients Together spokesperson, Janette Byrne.
YOUR HEALTH – YOUR PROTEST.
Assemble 2.00 pm, Saturday, 11th October 2008.
Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin, 1.
Speakers at the rally will include:
Prof John Crown, Consultant Oncologist
Liam Doran, Irish Nurses Organisation General Secretary
Janette Byrne, Spokesperson for Patients Together,
Conor Seville, brother of Beverly.
Kevin Callinan, National Secretary, IMPACT
Audrey Deane, Social Policy Advisor, St. Vincent de Paul Society,
Peadar McMahon of the Health Services Action Group and the Monaghan Hospital Community Alliance,
Louise O’Reilly, National Nursing Official, SIPTU,
Dr. Teresa Graham, (SIN) Stop Infections Now Campaign, (MRSA),
Walter Cullen, Unite Trade Union
Live music will be provided by ASLAN members and other artists.
Please spread the word about this protest and if you can support the march & rally, all the better.
Now, this is where I need your help. What wording do you think I should use on my placard?
UPDATE: No placard was needed as I joined-up with the S.I.N. (Stop Infections Now) campaigners who had produced their own teeshirts and placards for the march and rally. I am very proud to be a SINNER!
This peaceful protest was better organised than the last one in March but I suspect the numbers were down by comparison. For me personally, the highlight of the day was to witness two consultant doctors represent the rights and interests of patients and advocate for a better health service. I admire them both hugely for publicly taking this stance and for not being afraid to speak out about the faults within the system. If only their colleagues would follow suit.