Sunday 22 April 2018

Healthcare workers raise 'SOS' over threats to services

Brian McDonald

Around 100 health workers yesterday raised an 'SOS' over threats to hospital services from a major budget shortfall.

The protest at University Hospital Galway was also to launch a joint inter-union campaign, entitled Save Our Services (SOS), to drum up public support for opposition to cuts.

The unions and HSE West are already engaged in talks, exploring all options in tackling a potential €91m deficit. The negotiations are taking place at local level across the region, stretching from Limerick to Donegal.

SIPTU, IMPACT and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation fear that up to 1,000 jobs could be at risk.

In the past fortnight, protests in Roscommon and Ballinasloe have drawn thousands of people on to the streets to issue a 'hands off our hospitals' warning to the HSE.

Galway IMPACT official Padraig Mulligan said the 'SOS' campaign was working to resist what he insisted were HSE plans to cut €24m from the budget at UCH Galway and more than €18m from community services in the area.

"It is important for us to stand strong and put on a determined show of strength in support of our health services. The planned cuts would result in the decimation of our services, jobs and the local economy," he said.

Irish Independent

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