Ahern announces cabinet..

IrishElection.com’s twitter service should bring you up to date. John O’Donoghue is Ceann Comhairle, Bertie is back as taoiseach. Sinn Fein have just been knocked back on the speaking rights in the chamber. It’s doesn’t mean they can’t get to speak (outside points of order), but they can, only when government and opposition agree they can. You can follow the naming of the Ministers here.Update:

Most stay the same: Brian Cowan now Tainiste, stays at Finance
John Gormley – Environment,
Noel Dempsey gets new Department of Transport and Marine
Eammon Ryan – Energy
Brian Lenihan – Justice

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  • Aquifer

    The Greens seem to have negotiated well.

  • curious

    [b]Sinn Fein have just been knocked back on the speaking rights in the chamber[/b]

    Congratulation to Bertie Ahern and FF forming government with the GP, PD’s & independents. I wish them success for the next 5 years.

    However, one good reason I support partition and staying in the UK is the expensive health service in the ROI. As a pensioner and citizen of Northern ireland I can attend any NHS hospital without a doctors letter without the fear of paying a fee.

    In the ROI citizens who attend a hospital without a doctor’s letter are charged €65.

    How can SF help pensioners and the poorer citizens of the ROI persuade government to scrap this €65 hospital fee when they dont even have speaking rights in government for the next five years?

  • páid

    Curious,

    the health services down south are badly in need of reform.

    Current situation is…

    Everyone aged 70 and over is entitled to a standard medical card. People under the age of 70 may qualify if they meet the means test and other conditions. (The means test is more generous for people aged 65 and over than for those aged under 65.) A medical card gives entitlement to free GP services, free prescribed drugs and medicines, free out-patient and in-patient public hospital services (but you may have to pay long-stay charges – see above), free dental, ophthalmic and aural services and certain community care services. The “GP visit” or doctor only” medical card scheme gives entitlement to free GP services only. It is also means-tested but has higher income limits.

  • Crataegus

    Aquifer

    The Greens seem to have negotiated well.

    They will have to deliver or they will be dammed.

    Notice that FG SF etc are already targeting the Greens in the hope that they prove the weak link in the government. SF were practically accusing Greens of their lack of speaking rights.

  • curious

    Curious, [b]the health services down south are badly in need of reform.[/b]

    Thanks paid,

    What you say is that all ROI citizens (rich or poor) under 70/65 still have to pay a fee if they attend hospital without a doctors letter. If a UI ever happened Gerry Adams better head for his holiday home in Donegall because the mob in West Belfast would wreck the SF offices on the Falls Road if they found out they had to pay €65 every time they attended the Royal Victoria Hospital.

    With all its faults give me the UK and Northern Ireland’s NHS any day of the week.

  • Mark

    I’d have agreed with you on the health service until a recent personal experience. Relative needed very (VERY) expensive but well proven drug to treat cancer, with the real possibility of continuing to need it over a period of years, hopefully. It was prescribed and paid for as a matter of course and without question by the Health Service in the ROI.

    In the UK it is nigh impossible to get the same drug in many NHS trust areas because the truly bizarrely named NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) have decreed that it is not cost effective.

    I don’t think the NHS can be held up a shining example of anything to anyone as it currently stands. Talk to anyone who works in it and they’ll tell you what a mess it is in.

  • curious

    [b]”It was prescribed and paid for as a matter of course and without question by the Health Service in the ROI.”[/b]

    Mark

    Was this a one off, or is every citizen of the ROI getting this expensive cancer treatment free? I doubt it.

    There is one hell of a lot more poor citizens under 65 who dont have cancer but have other medical problems and still have to pay fees every time they visit hospital. With millions of euros coming in by charging poor citizens €65 no wonder they can afford to pay for cancer treatment for one person.

  • dub

    Curious,

    nearly all “poor citizens” have a medical card… so no €65.00 charge for them.

    what we need down here is compuslory universal medical insurance for all with the govt paying the premiumes of those currently on medical cards.. this would end the 2 tier nature of our health service.

    problem in the north is yes there are no fees for anyone but if altnagelvin hospital is anything to go by… the service is grotesquesly underfunded.

    any health system needs some revenue coming into it… the french have the fairest and best health system in the world.. they do not even know what the words “waiting list” mean.. however their model is not that of the entirely free nhs.

    it is their model we should all be looking at. i would remain hopeful that eventually in the republic we will see a system where private and public interests combine to produce a responsive plural adequately captialised service which all citizens regardless of background have equal access to.

    due to the sacred cow nature of the nhs in uk the uk is imo a lot further from such a situation.. hence the unavailability of expensive lifesaving drugs… it is not adequately capitalised.

    Regards,

    Dub.

  • “If a UI ever happened Gerry Adams better head for his holiday home in Donegall because the mob in West Belfast would wreck the SF offices on the Falls Road if they found out they had to pay €65 every time they attended the Royal Victoria Hospital”.

    Curious,

    Keep your overt sectarianism at home. Describing an entire community as a ‘mob’ is a throwback to the lowest level of bigotry…

  • curious

    [b]”Curious, Keep your overt sectarianism at home. Describing an entire community as a ‘mob’ is a throwback to the lowest level of bigotry…”[/b]

    macswiney.

    There is nothing sectarian about my statement at all. Infact its my opinion a Loyalist mob would also wreck the DUP and UUP offices if Unionists ever agreed to a UI and loyalists had to pay €65 every time they attended the Ulster Hospital in East Belfast.

  • Mark

    Actually curious this person is not poor, not entitled to a medical card and has insurance – but the drug is paid for by the government as it would be for any patients under the Drugs Payment Scheme.

    And yes, it is prescribed as a matter of course by doctors working for the HSE though not by the NHS, who have extremely restrictive prescribing practices when it comes to expensive drugs of this kind. Doctors in the NHS can only prescribe what NICE tells them they can prescribe, in the ROI they can prescribe whatever they believe is clinically warranted. It affects a lot of cancer patients.

    I am by no means trying to suggest that the HSE is in any way superior to the NHS, just that both systems have so many deficiencies and deep seated problems that neither could be held up as a shining example of anything.

  • curious

    Mark,

    I understand what you say regards a comparison between the ROI HSE and the UK NHS

    The citizens of NI have had a free NHS since 1945. For all the NHS faults (waiting list etc) It is my opinion NI citizens would not accept having to pay a €65 fee just to be seen by a doctor in any hospital.

    This hospital fee issue is only one of a numerous other (bread and butter) issues regards every day living that NI citizens would find a complete turn off to vote to go into a new 32 country Irish Republic besides the constitutional issue.

    In the recent NI election SF and the DUP played the electorate up to vote for them and they would stop new water rates being imposed. At present all they have is delay paying water rates for one year . Lets see if SF and the DUP keep to their word, because if they dont both the Shinners and Dupers will suffer at the next election.

  • lib2016

    The welfare systems North and South are the worst in Western Europe. You are concentrating on on3e or two points rather than looking at the overall picture.

    Significant differences are emerging in what kind of society the Scots wish to see and what is offered to them by Westminster, dominated as it is by representatives from England.

    In that connection it is interesting to note the agreement between Irish unionists and nationalists in opposing water privatisation.

    Is the domination of unionism by the extreme rightwing coming to an end? Paisley did say at one time that in England he would vote Labour and that he wished the DUP to support many of Labour’s social policies.

  • dub

    Curious,

    there are indeed many differences between north and south… but please take my point re: medical cards… about 40 percent of the population have them… so they do not have to pay that €65.00.

    also the basic weekly job seekers allowance is so much higher down here it makes you wonder how on earth people on the dole in the north survive.

    there is also the small question of rates which is a hefty annual bill which we dont have down here… and there is NO prospect of water charges down here. we have tolls on some of our motorways but then again they are very cheap and also we do have motorways and massive investment going into our road system.. whereas up there??

    wages are a lot higher down here too and there is the real prospect of employment for just about everyone… half the populatiion down here is not on dla.

    regards,

    dub.