CFAI launch Campaign to Reverse Minister & HSE Decision

CFAI launch Campaign to Reverse Minister & HSE Decision

02 April 2009

Thursday 2nd April 2008This morning outside Leinster House, greeting the members of the Dáil as they made their way into work was a great big truck with the words "Irish War Crimes" blazoned on it and the haunting eyes of Cystic Fibrosis Campaigner Orla Tinsley asking the question "Are Human Lives the New Currency?". It is a very provocative message being sent to the Minister of Health Mary Harney, her Department and the HSE, challenging their inhumane decision to delay the building of the new Cystic Fibrosis Facilities at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

This campaign is being organised by the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland out of utter frustration and devastation. Tired of remaining silent for years and always believing the promises made, the CFAI were left with no alternative but to fight for the lives of their young members who are living and dying with CF, after the soul destroying news became public about the postponement of the development. 

At the Press Conference which followed the launch Sean O'Kennedy, National Chairperson of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland stated "With my role comes a huge responsibility to the 1,130 people in Ireland living with CF, their families and friends. These courageous people, many who are quite young, are fighting an ongoing war against CF but unfortunately they are also fighting a war against an Irish medical system that is totally insufficient for their needs.  Our job at the CFAI is simple - to battle on an unrelenting basis so that every improvement possible is made, so that these Irish heroes have longer and healthier lives."This Campaign Truck will now travel the country over the next week, challenging the Department of Health & the HSE, questioning their bureaucracy and asking the public to support the campaign to force the decision makers to keep their promises made just last year to provide the badly needed facilities in St Vincent's.

Orla Tinsley, Ireland's most vocal and passionate Cystic Fibrosis Campaigner who was also present to lend her support to the Campaign stated "I would like to use this platform to promise that until I can help improve conditions for CF patients in Ireland I will keep campaigning.  All I am asking is that Minister Harney keeps her promises and takes saving lives seriously - I refuse to let people with CF suffer at the hands of political negligence."

Part of the Campaign consists of asking the public to show their support by texting "CHANGE" to 51155.  As Orla announced this mechanic she stated "Today we are calling the people of Ireland to request Minister Harney, the Department of Health and the HSE to Change their Decision"

The Campaign will also involve a nationwide Poster and Flyer Campaign as well as a Campaign at branch level to canvas all TD's, local councillors and MEP's. The Campaign will also be used to inform and educate people about Cystic Fibrosis and explain why the facilities at St. Vincent's are relevant to everyone living with Cystic Fibrosis throughout the Country. 

Sean finished his statement by saying "Today isn't just about St. Vincent's it is about all the facilities that are required around the country, that the Pollock Report identified as being necessary way back in 2005, facilities that we are still waiting for nearly 5 years on. We urgently need proper facilities around the country, facilities in Cork, Waterford, Galway, Castlebar, Drogheda and other facilities in Dublin to give people living with CF the standard of care they deserve and the standard of care that is the norm in the rest of Europe and the US."