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Healthcare must be for everyone

Surely the letter writers (Irish Independent, January 10) calling for us to "make a stand" against VHI increases have got the wrong end of the stick. The problems we are experiencing in healthcare are all down to the policy of the incumbent minister, when she's not lounging in luxurious five-star hotels in exotic places, that is.

The breakdown in healthcare provision was predictable as Mary Harney insisted on foisting the failed two-tier US system on the country.

Profit, and not patient care, has become the core guiding principle. That system finally ran into the buffers in the US but not before the horrendous situation arose whereby 50 million citizens found themselves with no access at all to healthcare.

Despite that evidence, and the many attempts to warn Ms Harney of the folly of her policies, she persisted and we are seeing access here becoming more and more difficult.

The queues are growing again with many languishing on waiting lists for years while the plight of those awaiting an initial hospital appointment is simply brushed under the carpet. Those who have to resort to emergency admission are having to spend days on trolleys and chairs, adding greatly to their misery.

It is time that we refocus and stop discussing this issue on Ms Harney's terms.

We must insist that a health service is delivered in which all citizens, regardless of their means, have equal access to it when needed.

Jim O'Sullivan
Rathedmond, Sligo

Irish Independent