Guest Post from Liz McManus
[This post originally published on Feb 15 at the old site. Liz wrote this to commemorate our launch.]
Bloggers of the world unite! I’m delighted to have been asked to contribute to this blog. I’m relatively new to the whole blogging world but I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and, happily, the numbers of visitors is steadily increasing. While blogging is still at an early stage in Ireland in comparison to other countries, it is a growing trend. Many politicians aren’t aware of this medium as yet, but particularly in the run up to the General Election I imagine this blog will facilitate that.
Also, Ireland’s technology infrastructure or lack of it has ensured that we are behind many of our European neighbours in terms of Broadband and I suppose this is reflected in the fact that blogging is not as prevalent as it is in other countries.
For me, having a blog (which I’ve had since the summer and am still getting to grips with) is a wonderful way to interact with people. I love the ease with which it can be updated and how easy it is to post photographs. Mostly, I try to steer away from using it as a press release forum and hopefully as such it comes across as more personal. The message though is the same.
As the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and its Spokesperson on Health, I want to use the blog as another forum to highlight our vision for health services and the country in general – and as a forum for updating people on areas I’m involved in that don’t necessary get coverage elsewhere.
In relation to the health services, the message is clear and simple – that the delivery of a high quality health service to all who need it should be a key priority for any government at the highest level. I don’t believe that this government has shown any real interest or understanding of health policy.
Instead, I believe that we have a Minister for Health who is driven by a right wing ideology. This Minister’s love of the US model of health care and her desire to privatise turns patients into consumers and will result in a deepening of the existing two tier health service.
Her record of the last year as Minister, in a time of economic prosperity, has been dismal – some of which has covered on my blog. There has been utter failure to deal with the A&E crisis, to deliver badly needed medical cards, to improve services to the elderly, to combat hygiene issues in our hospitals and the list goes on.
I believe, and the Labour party believes, that only a change of Government will deliver the fresh thinking, the capacity building, the integration of the health service on a basis of need rather than income. I believe that the Labour Party can provide the visionary leadership that our health service so desperately needs.
Liz McManus is Labour TD for Wicklow and blogs here.