27 September 2008

HSE endangers the Lives of 200,000 People

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has accused the Health Service Executive (HSE) of incompetence and acting irresponsibly.

This comes after the HSE told Irish doctors that they can no longer make the strongly recommended flu vaccine available free of charge to all people over the age of 50.

Last month, an expert group advised the Department of Health that everyone over 50 should receive it this winter.
But up to now, the vaccine has only been provided to people aged 65 years and older who have a medical card.

The IMO says that it has now discovered that the extension of the programme was scrapped quietly.
This means that the free vaccination of all people over 50, which has been strongly advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and which was announced by HSE and government with some pride, is not going to happen.

In a letter to all Irish GPs, the HSE said the extension of the scheme, which was already advised to doctors in distributed information, will not proceed this year! This decision is connected to Ireland's worsening financial circumstances.

IMO President Dr. Martin Daly said that he believes the HSE did not do its homework on the budget required to administer the scheme. The costs should have been foreseen, he said, and accused the HSE of acting irresponsibly.

Dr. Daly is quite right. The HSE is indeed incompetent and acts irresponsibly. And I would go even further and accuse them of potential manslaughter through gross negligence!

I am over 50, so I am personally affected by this blunder. And I am angry about it. Very angry, and very concerned. If you are over 50 and live in Ireland, you should be angry and concerned, too.

Should we have a bad winter this year and flu is spreading, more than 200,000 people - 5% of Ireland's population, including me - will be without adequate medical protection!
Welcome to Mary Harney's Apartheid-style third world health service!

What are we supposed to do? Is this perhaps a subtle attempt to kill a significant portion of those who are over 50 and slowly but surely approaching retirement age? One wonders... and can only hope to survive until the age of 65, when one is regarded again as worthy to receive proper flu protection.

This is a major medical and political scandal, and I urge every TD, regardless of party, to intervene on behalf of Ireland's most experienced and qualified workforce, the people over 50.

Beyond that I also take this very personal, as a deliberate attempt on my life by the HSE, Mary Harney and the State.
I will thus seek legal advise and explore if my natural right to life - and that of 200,000 others in the same situation - has been violated by the HSE.

The (very angry) Emerald Islander


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