Monday, May 08, 2006


Fine Gael Ard Fheis - Health

I now present to you another post with some more good proposals from Fine Gael which are attacked by the PDs. This time it's in relation to health.

Progressive Democrats TD Tim O'Malley (pictured left) has blasted Fine Gael's excellent proposal to fine Accident & Emergency drunks by labelling it a 'perversion of medical ethics' and an attack on patients with mental health conditions.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny told the party's Ard Fheis:

"Get the drunks out of A&E. Put the weekend warriors into drunk tanks. Fine them. Hit them where it hurts, in their pockets."

However Tim O'Malley doesn't like the idea and he warned:

"Suggesting that fines should be imposed on intoxicated persons in A&Es would pervert medical practice and show a total disregard for people with mental health problems.

"Every person presenting at A&E is a patient, no matter what their circumstances. The fundamental duty of doctors, nurses and hospitals is to treat patients according to medical need.

"But Enda Kenny now promises they will be required to hit patients where it hurts. This is a perversion of medical ethics."

I think that's a bunch of baloney. We're faced with a health crisis right now. Good people are forced to wait around on trolleys - an issue which O'Malley's party leader Mary Harney must be held accountable for - and a lot of time is spent dealing with drunken idiots who don't have any degree of personal responsibility. I support Enda Kenny's plans to hit these people where it hurts. O'Malley is spouting a load of waffle.

In other healthcare related policies, Mr Kenny called for 15 Urgent Care Centres to be set up around the country and free GP care to every child under five years old. He also promised Fine Gael will use public land to build public beds and would start with 600 step-down beds in Dublin.

As far as I'm concerned these are all excellent ideas. In a direct message to the Taoiseach on the health services, Mr Kenny said:

"I believe that any government of this country that cannot look after the health of its people – does not deserve to be in power, and does not deserve to be returned to power."

Amen to that. Readers will know that I have been calling for a change of government while at the same time stressing that there doesn't seem to be an alternative. If Mr Kenny keeps this up then I think he will provide that alternative we so badly need.

In contrast Tim O'Malley highlights, to me anyway, that the PDs are a spent force and need to go ASAP!


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