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The INO, In Its Pre-Budget Submission, Calls On Government To Introduce Universal Health Insurance And Multi-Year Budgeting For The Public Health Service. 15/11/07
Free Health Checks Also Sought For Over 50 Year Olds

The Irish Nurses Organisation (INO), in its pre- budget submission to government (full text available on www.inmo.ie), has said that, although the economy is not as buoyant as in recent years, it is still possible, based upon the public finances covering the first ten months of this year, for the government to be in a position to introduce many positive changes to the country’s public health service and address other anomalies and inequities in our society. Therefore there must be no further delay, in such a stable economy, in radical expansion of our health service.

This budget must see the government address the fundamental issue of equity within all aspects of our public health service. The INO believes this should, and could, be achieved through the introduction of a universal health insurance model and the introduction of a single waiting list for treatment for all patients. We call on the Government to make these fundamental changes thus ensuring that need determines speed of access to care and services.

The organisation also calls, in its submission, for Multi Year Budgets/Planned Funding as follows:

  • The introduction of multi-year budgets for current services which provide a minimum of 5% increase in expenditure, above the rate of inflation, for each of the next five years to maintain existing levels of service in the context of a growing population and growing demand;
  • Ringfenced funding, to be provided each year, for new services which clearly provides for both the staffing and physical resources required;
  • Multi year funding for capital developments, in the context of a 10 year plan, aimed at replacing / refurbishing existing structures which will ensure

            • Increased Acute / Non Acute bed capacity;
            • Increased privacy for patients;
            • Single room facilities to assist with minimising Hospital Acquired Infections;
            • 24/7 walk in small injury clinics in all major towns and cities;
            • Primary Care Centres with adequate multi disciplinary services and equipment;
            • Major improvements in mental health and intellectual disability care environments.

The Organisation also calls for the introduction, over a two-year time frame, of free and nationwide health checks, beginning with those over 50 years old, to screen for cardiovascular, endocrine and other chronic and major causes of ill health.

The submission also refers to the decision to establish the Health Service Executive, on
1st January 2005, through the filling of all management posts, via confined competition,
from existing management grades which it says was short-sighted, ill advised and
contrary to delivering a patient focused, and clinician delivered health service.  This must
be addressed through the introduction of an early retirement / voluntary retirement
scheme for middle / senior general management grades.

In other areas the INO again calls upon the government to address the key issue of retention of Irish trained nurses/midwives in our public health service. The level of vacant nursing posts continues to rise and stands at over 1200.
 
On cancer care the organisation is calling for a detailed, fully costed, funded and quality assured programme which will ensure that the National Cancer Strategy must be implemented within 3 years and that all existing services must be maintained until the 8 National Centres have been developed in terms of physical capacity, equipment and skilled staff. 

Other measures called for in the submission are the introduction of zero tolerance measures, for drink drivers, requiring legislation which will outlaw driving of motor vehicles for any person who has taken alcohol; and, the development of a quality childcare infrastructure in Ireland which is essential and central to issues for all working parents, with particular significance to lone parents. 

Speaking today, INO General Secretary, Liam Doran said:

We now have a country with a population of 4.25 million people with a health service that does not have the capacity, or construction, to care for, and respond to, the needs of this rapidly growing population.  A cornerstone of such a developed health service must be the core principle of equity of access.  This country now has the resources to fund and structure our health services to treat all people equally with need being the only determinant of access to care.

It is again a question of a government making choices and implementing priorities.” 
-end-

 
PR July-Dec2007
Irish Nurses Organisation Welcomes HIQA National Hygiene Audit. 14/11/07
Findings must be catalyst for change through real action
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie