HSE Talk to Press but not to CF Patients. When Silence Speaks Volumes!

HSE Talk to Press but not to CF Patients. When Silence Speaks Volumes!

31 March 2009

Both Minister Harney and the HSE found time to speak to the press yesterday, yet did not have the time, courtesy or inclination it seems to give a Yes or No answer to young people with Cystic Fibrosis on whether the promise to have the lifesaving CF Unit in St Vincent's operational by 2010 would be kept or not.

"This is just one more example of the utter bureaucracy that we have to deal with for the last number of years" stated a very annoyed Sean O'Kennedy, National Chairperson of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland."What am I expected to say to heartbroken people who just can't believe that our system will prioritise in such a way that lives will definitely be lost. The HSE and the Department silence to our young people speaks volumes."

Orla Tinsley, CF Campaigner added her own thoughts on the silence from both organisations "The fact that the HSE and the Department of Health didn't have the respect to inform CFAI or the people living with CF shows their ignorance and the complete and utter disregard they have for our lives."

In one paper today it is stated that "A HSE spokesperson said the unit would still be built in 2011, with the one year delay due to the downturn in the economy."

Whereas the HSE reported to the Joint Committee on Health & Children this day last week that "The HSE capital plan shows that capital for construction however would not be available until 2011, at the earliest."

Who is telling the truth?

And why were the CFAI not officially informed one way or the other, even though it seems that this has been a decision that was made over a week ago?

Minister Harney also found time to talk to the press yesterday and suggested looking for private capital to fund the CF Unit and that she would not be discussing the matter with the HSE until after the April 7th Budget.

What good is talking about budgets after the budget?

Last year the Department of Health and the HSE were inundated with offers of help from the private sector to build the unit at St Vincent's after the media campaign in January 2008.  This assistance was refused as the HSE/Department of Health confirmed that they would get the facility operational by 2010 through their own budgets.Sean finished by stating "Now Minister Harney is proving to us by her silence that Human Lives are definitely the new currency in the Budget next week."