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Archive for the ‘Hospital Services’ Category

Taxpayers getting shafted once again

The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Q&A

MARTIN WALL

Who will benefit from the early retirement/voluntary redundancy schemes? 

The schemes will be primarily aimed at staff in managerial/administrative and clerical grades in the HSE, voluntary hospitals and in voluntary health service agencies funded by the HSE. They will also be offered to support staff, such as catering, portering, cleaning and maintenance personnel. Approval for applications from these grades will depend on the number of management and administrative staff who apply and on the basis of the overall budget for the scheme not being breached.

How many people will leave? 

This will very much depend on the categories of staff who opt for the packages. The Government has capped the budget for the schemes at €400 million and if a large number of senior managers choose to go, it will restrict the overall numbers.

Minister for Health Mary Harney said about 4,000 managerial and administrative staff could leave. The HSE said it was estimating that between 3,000 and 5,000 personnel could go.

How do the two schemes differ? 

There is a voluntary early retirement scheme, which is open to employees over 50. This provides for immediate payment of pension entitlements on retirement with no actuarial reduction in respect of payment prior to minimum retirement age. Full lump-sum entitlement will also be paid and payments will not take into account the salary cuts introduced in the public service earlier this year.

The voluntary redundancy scheme will involve a severance payment of three weeks’ pay per year of service in addition to statutory entitlements, subject to an overall limit of two years’ pay. This could see some senior managers getting €300,000.

Is there a deadline for applying? 

Applications will have to be submitted by November 19th. Staff who take a package must leave the health service by December 30th.

Will all applications be accepted? 

Applications from managerial/ administrative staff will be prioritized and will be approved automatically, subject to the overall €400 million budget not being breached.

How will services be maintained? 

Management plans to use the provisions of the Croke Park agreement to redeploy staff or introduce more flexible work practices. Much will depend on the type of staff who actually leave. It may be easier to maintain services in administrative areas than if a large number of porters or catering staff, for example, from one organization took the packages.

Why are these packages on offer now? 

Since the establishment of the HSE in 2005 there have been questions raised as to why there was no rationalization of administrative and managerial staff given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated. On at least two occasions in recent years the HSE and the Department of Health drew up proposals for a voluntary redundancy scheme but these were rejected by the Department of Finance.

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1102/1224282482579.html

Comment:

Having signed the Croke Park deal the government now have realized it was a disaster for the taxpayers of the country with 70% of the Health Services Budget going on salaries, this commitment should never have happened because the country could not afford to shelter any group of state employees if it was going to make any real savings  

So Not only is the HSE now closing down services and hospital beds they have now found 450,000,000:00 Euros to allow these middle management to retire laden down with these bumper benefits

Earlier this year we were told citizens will have to work an extra 3 years for the state pension (68)

With this deal thousands of state workers get to have their state pension up to 18 years earlier and this when the country is broke?

We the taxpayers were told back in 2005 that the rationalization of administrative and managerial staff was one of the reasons for the establishment of the HSE in the First place, given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated.

Now the taxpayers are again getting a raw deal here and the ordinary Joe public is been shafted once again having to foot the bill again! If you thought things were bad in the Health Service think again we are about to feel real pain now thanks to Harney.

Harney your hands are stained with blood and you know the country hasn’t got this 450 million it has to be borrowed why don’t you go and take all your cronies with you?

Billions for NAMA and sod the rest of us!

Selling Death !

Head shops legally selling death!

I attach a report on some of the compounds that are been sold to children from these head shops

You will be aware that two children were found dead last week in England after consuming “mephedrone”

Will we have to wait for the death of Irish children before we ban these Drugs?

On December 18, our reporter delivered all three – Blow, Charge and Diablo XXX – to the National Drug Advisory and Treatment Centre on Dublin’s Pearse Street for analysis.

The results came back on January 6. Blow and Diablo contained mephedrone, while Charge showed indications of lidocaine and flephedrone. The main biochemist said: ‘Mephedrone and flephedrone are synthetic compounds. These are not herbal highs, these are synthetic drugs.’ ‘The presence of lidocaine in the Charge product may explain how it might be marketed as a cocaine substitute, as lidocaine has long been used as an adulterant of cocaine due to similarities in its effects.

‘These compounds may have very similar effects to illegal drugs. While some chemically related drugs such as cathinone are controlled, mephedrone is currently not controlled. ‘A small change in the chemical structure can make a drug that’s not controlled. Mephedrone is chemically related to some illegal drugs.

‘Mephedrone is a substituted cathinone.

Cathinones are derivatives of phenethylamines (the family of amphetamine compounds that include MDMA ‘ecstasy’). The number of these new drugs has meant that that restricting them is difficult.’ According to a December study by Liverpool’s John Moore’s University, the side effects of mephedrone and flephedrone can include palpitations, sweating, insomnia, loss of short-term memory, vertigo, grinding teeth and dizziness. According to the HRB, mephedrone has been linked to two deaths in Sweden – where it was made illegal in 2009.

source http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/mail-on-sunday-london-england-the/mi_8003/is_2010_Jan_17/cocaine-100pc-legal-head-shops/ai_n48662782/pg_2/

See just dead wood and no Heart!

Yesterday, the minister revealed she had learned of the 58,000 unchecked X-rays in December. But she insisted she only realized the scale of the problem on Tuesday.

Full article link http://www.independent.ie/national-news/calls-mounting-for-the-resignation-of-hopeless-harney-2095141.html

Adding my voice to the thousands of calls for this Minster to resigne will make on difference  as walking over bodies for this person is all in a days worke ,This I foubnd out my self personally ,remember the Susi Long case ,(http://www.susielonghospice.com/about%20Susie.html) I  was the only person at a PD Meeting to tell Harney that I could not suport her any longer as I belived she was wrong with the policies she was persuining at the time and they cost this woman her life I could not support this any longer!

Things havent changed and she is still clinging on to power and that is all she wants !

she started out great but power corrups totally! 

 

Adding my voice for this disastrous and useless minster to resign is not really going to be of any help, Iwas also shouted down be an elderly woman saying “here we go again”
Harney sat there stone faced and said nothing
I knew the she was out for herself in politics and that has been proven so many times since! Harney has lost her way many years ago and this suited Fiannia Fail to have a scapegoat and in Harney they have a perfect one!
The entire Government is all clapped out, wasted and dry, rotten fruit clinging to the tree branches waiting for a wind strong enough to blow it down!

It better happen soon before the Farmer will have to take the Axe to the dead wood!

Let the people have their say!

“Deep divisions” are opening up in Irish society and attempts are being made to drive a wedge between public sector and private sector workers, Eamon Gilmore told the annual conference of Labour Youth in the Mansion House Dublin last night.

He said Friday’s huge turnout of both public and private sector workers at the Irish Congress of Trade Union’s (Ictu) national day of protest showed “workers are not going to lie down and meekly accept being singled out by Fianna Fáil and the Greens”.

“The Government is saying that the €4billion that needs to be found in this budget must be achieved by targeting those on social welfare; those who work in the public service; and those who are dependent on public services.

More at link

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/1108/breaking21.htm

Mr Gilmore, it surprises me to think that you did not anticipated this strategy from the Government and its media cronies, but what is more surprising is that you stated on TV last week to David Williams that if NAMA was passed you in a future Government would not change anything with NAMA

This has to be the shock of the year for me and thousands of others that thought you could be the obvious choice to replace Brian Cowen!

It is now not as clear to me if I should vote for Labour.

In light of this revelation, I call upon you now to demand an immediate General election.

You can stop NAMA from ever happening then,

(That is if you are really determent to stop it)

We the people have the right to vote on this ourselves don’t you think?

 

Andrew Doyle / Health

Andrew Doyle
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Question 110: To ask the Minister for Health and Children her views on the findings of the National Economic and Social Forum report on the implementation of the home care package scheme which concludes that eligibility differs from area to area resulting in inequalities and inconsistencies for people in need of support and that there is much duplication of work, with double or triple assessment of the care needs of older people; the action she will take in relation to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Áine Brady
(Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Children; Kildare North, Fianna Fail)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106, 110 and 135 together.

The priorities of the Department in recent times, in relation to Services for Older People, have been the introduction of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, and the bringing into force of new regulations in July last for the long-term residential care sector.

In tandem with these initiatives for the residential care sector, the Department has also been progressing initiatives on the community side and, as part of this, earlier this year commenced an independent Evaluation of Home Care Packages (HCPs). The HCP programme currently undertaken by the HSE involves overall annual funding in the region of €120 million, to provide packages to around 8,700 older people at any one time or approximately, 11,500 over the course of the year. Such packages are intended to enable older people to live at home and in their communities for as long as possible and to facilitate discharge from, or prevent inappropriate admission to, acute hospitals and long-term residential care. The HSE allocates and manages packages on this basis around the country.

The Department’s Evaluation , undertaken by PA Consulting Group, will be formally submitted to Minister, Deputy Harney shortly. The aim of the evaluation was to assess, through quantitative and qualitative research at HSE national and local level, whether the objectives of the HCP Initiative are being met in the best possible way. This evaluation was recommended by the long-term care working g roup, and reinforced by a “Towards 2016” commitment. The Department and the HSE has accepted the need for a more standardised approach to HCP provision generally. In the context of the forthcoming Report by PA Consulting Group, the Department is at present, in conjunction with the HSE, considering various issues in relation to HCP provision, including:

finalising and agreeing standardised access and operational guidelines for delivery of Home Care Packages;

adoption and dissemination by the HSE of a voluntary code of Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support Services for Older People; and

consideration of the Law Reform Commission recommendations in the context of possible changes to legislation and regulation in the area of home care for older persons generally.

I am familiar with the recently launched NESF Report which focused on the implementation of home care packages from a policy implementation point of view. It acknowledges that while the home care package initiative was a well designed policy, improvements are required in a number of areas regarding implementation, including the issues raised by the Deputies. These issues are also being addressed in the report commissioned by the Department.

It is intended that various recommendations of the PA report will be implemented or progressed over the course of 2010, including those relating to governance, operational delivery, performance management and funding.

Andrew Doyle / Muscular Dystrophy/NAMA

Andrew Doyle on Muscular Dystrophy
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

The point is that the children going to the UK for trials encounter many challenges and this is not acceptable on an ongoing basis. There are three key areas: research, a proper register and standards of care. Duchenne Ireland contends that only a fraction of boys with the condition are on the register. What is a needed is a dedicated neurologist to drive the updating of the register and to establish the standards. The Lancet journal will next January or February list a register of standards for all countries with regard to the research and trials that have been carried out. This register is what will form opinion. GlaxoSmithKline has already signed a deal to put a product on the market.

If we do not have a proper register for the children of this country, they will miss out. It is estimated there is a core of 150 to 200 boys with the condition. I ask the Minister in the first instance to dedicate a neurologist from within the current core staff of the HSE to drive this forward.

Andrew Doyle on NAMA
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Following on from the Report Stage debate on NAMA and previous discussions in regard to NAMA master and minor SPVs – I am not quite sure how many SPVs there are – and the rounds of the earth to which the Government has gone to facilitate the banks and large developers, it is difficult for ordinary people and families experiencing serious financial challenges to understand why they are being left to go to MABs, which neither has the resources – there is a waiting list of some months for its service – nor the statutory authority to negotiate deferred payments on behalf of individuals. It is difficult when one meets people on the street to defend an opinion that the more one owes the more protected one is and that the person who owes only a mortgage is at the mercy of the banks without any protection.

While I commend the Labour Party on its motion, the Fine Gael proposal to protect homeowners reflects the obligation of the banks to acknowledge that during the so-called boom years they loaned money recklessly, providing 100% mortgages over 30 years and more often than not with a current account which ensured people would be in a position to make interest-only payments and would never or, at least for some considerable time, be able to reduce the capital amount of the loan. This happened in the good times. Now, people who are losing their jobs, paying extra levies and tax, taking reductions in pay are struggling and being criminalised. The housing agency, Respond, estimates that the number of people in this position is 25,000 although the figure varies and is often quoted as 35,000. The Government, however, says the true figure is less than that. Nevertheless, it is possibly a figure that is increasing all the time as unemployment and other factors kick in.

The Fine Gael proposal is that NAMA would take an equity share following a suitable write-down in the mortgage to reflect the reckless manner in which the mortgage was given. The reality is first-time buyers who purchased a home between 2002 and 2008, when property prices were falsely inflated, are caught in a spike. These are the people who as a cohort are more than likely, if the two parents are working, to have children in child care and who, if not working, had extended themselves and are now under severe pressure. These people must be protected. The six month code which comes into effect when people fall into arrears is no good because they will not be able to get out of the mess in such a short period.

The moratorium, worthy and all that it is, only defers payments. The proposed homeowners protection element of our amendment to the NAMA legislation would allow homeownes to opt to continue to make payments at a level they can afford, for NAMA to take an equity share in the remainder and allow the homeowners, if they return to an income level which would allow them pay the full amount, to repay NAMA. Also, in the event that the property is sold NAMA would realise its share if a profit is made. This appears to be an equitable proposal.

The Government appears to have buried its head a little, given that its amendment commends the Government on its actions to stabilise the financial system and to restore the public finances thereby protecting jobs and home ownership, which is very laudable. However, yesterday there were fluctuations in the financial institutions’ stock value. One cannot state that the actions taken have stabilised anything at this stage. I urge the Government to rethink the issue and to take on board both proposals put forward.

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