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Private hospitals should have learnt to clean up their act

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'That the Garda has the power to raid pubs with a view to ensuring patrons are “adhering to health and safety guidelines” is an absolute step in the wrong direction' (stock image)

'That the Garda has the power to raid pubs with a view to ensuring patrons are “adhering to health and safety guidelines” is an absolute step in the wrong direction' (stock image)

'That the Garda has the power to raid pubs with a view to ensuring patrons are “adhering to health and safety guidelines” is an absolute step in the wrong direction' (stock image)

In recent times the caretaker government and the HSE have done trojan work and showed courage in very difficult circumstances. They said at the start of this pandemic that we are all in this together and everyone will be treated equally and will have access to free testing and treatment in matters relating to the coronavirus.

On July 1 this promise fell by the wayside when the private hospitals started charging private patients up to €275 for a temperature test and questionnaire and/or a Covid-19 swab test when presenting for diagnostic tests or surgery.

When questioned by journalists, the Private Hospitals Association said private hospitals were forced to incur extra costs to meet stringent new public health guidelines including deep cleaning, the use of PPE and testing patients for Covid-19 before they can be treated, and that these costs should, in principle, be absorbed by the health insurers.

Is it too much to expect that after the appalling MRSA crisis some years ago these hospitals would have introduced hygiene practices of a high enough standard to protect patients? The reality is, if the health insurers agree to pay this charge it will be passed on to all health insurance customers and it is they who will be paying for the cleaning of the hospitals and supply of PPE.

It is worth noting that patients can avail of a Covid test only if their GP suspects they have the virus. It cannot be used for checking if patients entering private hospitals are free of Covid-19.

The new Government should now insist that private hospitals take responsibility for cleaning their own premises and for supplying PPE to their staff, and it should pay the small charge for temperature checking and/or swabs just as it does for public patients in public hospitals.

The disappointment to learn that we are not all in this together is immense. 

Marie Travers

Dublin 4

More freedoms undermined if gardaí start raiding pubs

That the Garda has the power to raid pubs with a view to ensuring patrons are “adhering to health and safety guidelines” is an absolute step in the wrong direction.

This is as far as we can get from what we expect when we vote for what we used to believe was democracy.

As a non-drinker and not a pub frequenter, I view such an imposition as a deliberate undermining of our shrinking freedoms.

Are the cops now tasked with demanding we watch our health, or else? Do they know more than our personal GPs, for example?

I went to a hotel today for a coffee, and the man serving asked me for my name and phone number. Naturally I declined his directive and did an about-turn. This is not the way to treat Irish citizens who have done nothing wrong.

I heard Taoiseach Micheál Martin say on the radio on July 6 that people gathering in groups on the street (drinking?) had “better behave themselves”.

This kind of lingo has the whiff of permanence about it.

Start thinking about things, Ireland, while we are still allowed to. The “cure” could become as problematic as the disease.

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork

Cowen can make amends after his drink-drive shame

Barry Cowen, as an elected representative, was caught drinking and driving. My personal opinion is that no one should drive after consuming alcohol and you should lose your licence and probably your job if caught doing so. The Cabinet minister should now do the honourable thing and resign – or is that too much to ask?

Paul Doran

Monastery Walk, Dublin 22

Johnson is showing contempt for elderly who backed him

Boris Johnson’s comments blaming care homes for excess death rates among the elderly are repugnant to say the least.

The elderly voted overwhelmingly for the Conservative Party in the recent general election, propping him in power. They deserve mere dignity and respect, not platitudinous nonsense, negligence, contempt, carelessness and poverty in their twilight years. How a society treats its most vulnerable is the yardstick of its humanity.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, UK

Interview was a credit to McInerney and good doctor

Please may I congratulate Sarah McInerney on her excellent interview with Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer with the HSE, on her ‘Today’ radio show on Monday morning, regarding the subject of cancer screening services affected by Covid-19. Her questioning of the good doctor was just superb, as indeed were the good doctor’s answers. May I strongly recommend for all concerned a listen back on the podcast.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent