• No Going Back - We Want an All Ireland National Health Service!
    Covid 19 made abundantly clear that our existing health services needed radical transformation to cope with the pandemic. Insufficient hospital bed capacity, too few intensive care beds, too few hospital nurses and staff, glaring structural defects accumulated over decades, as well as two separate health services on an island of 6.6 million inhabitants, were shown up as markedly inadequate. The lack of PPE and other public health resources for testing, contact tracing and protecting older people in nursing homes or health and social care workers arose from the absence of a coordinated, efficient national health service. The situation required the enactment of measures which would have been unthinkable pre-Covid 19. The budget of the Health Service Executive was expanded by €1 billion and the recruitment embargo on nurses and other key staff lifted. North and South, agreements were secured with private hospitals that they would temporarily operate as public hospitals, open to both Covid 19 and non-Covid 19 patients. In the South, patients with Covid-19 are being treated as public patients in what the caretaker Fine Gael government itself has lauded as a single national hospital service with no private-public distinction. If the extension of public healthcare can happen in a pandemic, why not also in ‘normal’ health crisis times? Why can it not be used to address the waiting lists of at least 700,000 in the South, 300,000 in the North? To address the totally inadequate step- down facilities or the lack of home care support? Or to enable everyone to have free access to GPs? The measures taken have shown that a comprehensive public health service is both possible and indispensable for providing healthcare to all when they need it. However, the Dublin government’s deal with the private hospitals, while a welcome step of making private hospitals public, is also costing the public purse €115 million a month. This continues the policy of shoring up the private sector with public money, a policy which has been shown in the North to undermine the ability of the NHS to provide timely cradle to grave treatment, free at the point of use.
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    Created by Conor Reddy
  • Reallocate Road Space to Walking and Cycling in Limerick City #WeNeedSpace
    Limerick Cycling Campaign, the Limerick Cycle Bus and the Irish Pedestrian Network are launching the #WeNeedSpace campaign calling on Limerick Council to provide safe, usable space across the city for people to shop, exercise and commute by walking and cycling during the current crisis. Research published by Sports Ireland on the 30th April shows an additional 500,000 regular walkers, 450,000 runners and 220,000 cyclists. These numbers show a huge increase in people using public space to move around and exercise. This positive cultural change in how we use our streets should be further encouraged by making more space for people to get out and stay healthy during these difficult times. It’s very difficult for young families in the city to get fresh air and exercise while trips to parks and beaches are off-limits. We need to facilitate safe segregated cycle routes in the city to encourage family and more cautious cyclists to come out and get some exercise. A circular segregated cycle would open up the city to young people to get their exercise in a safe way. These temporary actions in response to the current emergency, would be strategic in creating a positive cultural change to make our towns and cities more liveable and contributing to a much needed boost in footfall required to aid the economic recovery when we move beyond the current crisis. Please support this campaign by signing and sharing on social media using the hashtag #WeNeedSpace and read our letter to the Council on the Limerick Cycling website.
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    Created by Dave Tobin, Limerick Cycling Campaign Picture
  • Help Cuba fight COVID-19 and the US blockade
    At this time of international pandemic we would ask you and the other foreign ministers of the EU to seek a relaxation of the trade blockade by the US to end its blockade immediately, or at the very least to temporarily suspend it to allow vital supplies of food, fuel and medical equipment to the Cuban people allowing them to fight the coronavirus at home and abroad. As the world fights an international battle against the coronavirus pandemic, Cuba has once again proved itself a paragon of internationalism and solidarity. In recent days the island has sent highly skilled medical brigades to many countries including Italy, Grenada, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Venezuela to support foreign health services overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis. On 18 March the Cuban government offered safe haven to passengers of the stricken British cruise ship MS Braemar allowing it to dock in Havana when many other countries had refused. It has also made its anti-viral drug Interferon Alfa-2b available to nations around the world to help in the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.The island’s altruistic response to the global emergency continues a long history of Cuban humanitarianism. In the last 56 years 400,000 Cuban health workers have responded to natural disasters and helped build health services in 164 nations. This includes sending medical brigades to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Kashmiri earthquake (2005), to Haiti to assist with the devastating cholera outbreak following the earthquake (2010), and to West Africa in the region’s fight against Ebola (2015). Cuba has also trained 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries at its Latin American Medical School since 1998, where many members of the Irish Cuban Solidarity Alliance have visited. At the same time the island has suffered the effects of the 58-year old criminal United States blockade which causes daily shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities. Last year the cost to the Cuban health sector alone amounted to more than $104 million. As we write, Cuba is itself combating the spread of coronavirus within its own population and needs access of medical equipment and resources to safeguard the well-being of its most vulnerable citizens. Cuba has always put the humanitarian needs of people first, regardless or borders or politics. At this time of international crisis, the US blockade is criminal, not only for its impact on the Cuban people, but also for hindering their ability to assist in the worldwide battle against the virus.
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    Created by Yvonne Callaghan Picture
  • #ARTSBLACKOUT - Boycott the COVID-19 Art Schemes, Demand Support for Every Arts Worker
    Link to full statement and list of demands: https://tinyurl.com/swe4f8p How to support: > Pledge to boycott the awards & the awards’ outcomes online > Support the boycott by usings our images on your social media > Share the boycott using the hashtag #ARTSBLACKOUT #COVIDARTSCRISIS Twitter - @BLACKOUT_ARTS Instagram - @Arts_Blackout In place of the schemes proposed by the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, we are issuing the following demands. We have formulated these in consultation with artists and arts workers across the sector and invite artists participating in the boycott to submit their own demands. Please email artsblackout@gmail.com DEMANDS 1. For the Department of Social Protection to streamline access for artists and arts workers to the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment. A letter of reference from any Irish cultural organisation or venue should be accepted as evidence of working in the sector. 2. For the Government to begin setting up a Universal Basic Income Scheme through a pilot scheme for sole traders, arts workers, the underemployed, the unemployed and the community volunteering sector. 3. For at least a €10 million COVID-19 emergency fund to be made available to the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. 4. For the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht to seek out sustained and meaningful consultation with artists from across the sector. To initiate a far-reaching debate on the current nature of the status of the artist with a view to ensuring the sustainability of artists' careers, practices and activities, as well as artists’ freedom of expression, social and financial recognition, and individual well-being. 5. For all publicly funded COVID-19 Art Schemes to take into account the different circumstances of artists in regards to space, time, materials and favour no particular medium, style, or type of practice. For equality and inclusion to be at the centre of decision making. 6. For all publicly funded cultural organisations to honour artist payments that were contracted to take place during the COVID-19 emergency measures, regardless of the status of work 7. For the Arts Council of Ireland and Local Authority Arts Offices to introduce non-competitive awards during the crisis and distribute funds to applicants equally. 8. For the Arts Council of Ireland to release funds to finance rent on studios, rehearsal spaces, and vital production spaces, to ensure that artists are not charged rent during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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    Created by #Arts Blackout
  • Protect student renters during COVID-19 Crisis
    We need these measures implemented immediately. Students have been laid off, many cannot survive off their maintenance loans alone, while others do not receive maintenance support. They cannot apply for universal credit and university Hardship/Support Funds are only limited pots of money that cannot support students through the entirety of this crisis. Landlords and letting agencies are still expecting students renters to pay their rent, and a number of students have received emails threatening court action if they cannot afford to pay their rent. One letting agent suggested that students not paying their rent would contribute to the collapse of the global economy. Many students simply cannot pay their rent, and they cannot be left behind during this pandemic. We deserve clarity and protection from this Executive. #NoStudentLeftBehind
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    Created by Grian Ní Dhaimhín Picture
  • Pay rise for ALL essential workers in Ireland (not just Dunnes, Aldi & Tesco)
    Every person that has to go out to work at this time is putting theirs and their families health at risk for the sake of others needs. 10% pay rise backdated from March 9th is a very small compensation for that but at least shows SOME appreciation for staff during this time.
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    Created by Rebecca Feeney
  • Allow Remote Abortion Provision in NI
    In the next 13 weeks as the pandemic reaches its peak, hundreds of women and pregnant people in Northern Ireland will need an early medical abortion. The government must ensure that both patients and medical staff are not placed at unnecessary risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all being asked to stay at home for the safety of the whole country. It is unacceptable that the health of patients and healthcare workers in NI will be put at risk by enforcing unnecessary travel to clinic appointments. We know that there is the capacity to provide a telemedicine in NI immediately. Millions of women around the world have successfully used abortion pills, which the World Health Organisation states are a safe and effective means of early medical abortion. Additionally other governments have recognised the need for abortion care at home during this crisis. Failure to provide a telemedicine service will leave many women and pregnant people unable to access essential abortion care and may lead them to other unsafe means. It will also place unnecessary strain on healthcare services and put staff in danger during an already extremely difficult time. We are calling on the NI Health Minister to; (1) introduce remote consultations for abortion and no criminalisation for any nurse, midwife or doctor who provides remote abortion care during this emergency (2) allow patients to take both abortion medications in the safety of their own home (3) recognise there is no safe way to access abortion care in England during the crisis
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    Created by Alliance for Choice Northern Ireland Picture
  • Support Palestine, Continue Support for the Occupied Territories Bill
    This Bill provides the Irish government with an opportunity to uphold international law and ban the import of goods and services from any illegal settlements. This would establish a framework to hold offending governments accountable for human rights violations, which is currently not the case. It is imperative that this legislation is passed, to promote trade justice for any marginalised people suffering the oppressive impacts of illegal settlements.
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    Created by Comhlamh Trade Justice Group
  • Keep Ireland's Health System in Public Ownership after COVID-19
    Following the 2017 Dáil committee, on the future on Health in Ireland, it was agreed by all parties that a single-tiered healthcare system, called Sláintecare, was the best way forward. (2) Fine Gael agreed to implement this but dragged their feet, lacking the commitment to fully fund the programme and not making it a priority. (3) Now, in the face of a global pandemic it is evident that Sláintecare is necessary to protect and care for the people of Ireland. 1) (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/election-2020-exit-poll-confirms-health-housing-homelessness-of-most-concern-to-voters-1.4167030) 2) (https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/committees/32/future-of-healthcare/) 3) (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/social-democrats-implementing-sl%C3%A1intecare-health-plan-a-red-line-for-coalition-1.4142849)
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    Created by Dylan Murphy
  • Let employers top up the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment
    Nobody should be forced into poverty because of COVID-19. But, right now, employers will be penalised for topping up the poverty payment of €203 per week that temporarily laid of staff are entitled to during the pandemic. If they give their employers extra money, the company won't be entitiled to any refunds. That's why we're calling on Regina Doherty to allow employers to pay their staff their full wages - and reimburse them for the full cost.
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    Created by Emily Duffy Picture
  • Introduce remote consultations for abortion during covid-19
    Both the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Government want to keep people safe during this emergency. It is in all of our interest to minimise the strain on our healthcare system and to prevent people who are not sick from coming into contact with those who are. Remote consultation is already in use in Ireland by, for example, VideoDoc and Spectrum Health, and more recently, by individual GPs as they adapt to the current crisis. Providing abortion consultations remotely has proven safe, effective, and acceptable in other jurisdictions. We urge the Minister for Health to clarify that an in-person visit is not required in order to satisfy the Act and put appropriate protocols in place. We urge the Minister for Justice to assure doctors they will not be prosecuted if they offer medical abortion remotely at this time. Sign the petition and let the Government know you support those who need to access abortion services, healthcare workers and all those working in the health sector.
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    Created by Abortion Rights Campaign
  • Demand Randox release Covid-19 tests
    Randox received £23 million in public funds through Invest NI in 2018, and benefited from a research partnership with our two universities QUB and UU. Now they are selling at an extortionate price (£120 per test) at a time when people are worried about food and job security and how they'll keep a roof over their heads. Meanwhile our NHS is struggling as they don't have enough tests so that key healthcare professionals can continue to do their vital work on the frontline of the fight against this global pandemic. Demand that Randox releases the Covid-19 tests free of charge to the NHS and stops profiteering from this crisis. See: https://www.randoxhealth.com/product/coronavirus-covid-19-home-testing-kit/ and: https://www.randox.com/tag/invest-ni/
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    Created by Lynda Sullivan