Seanad Elections and St Luke’s

If you have a vote on the Trinity or NUI panels, ask the candidates where they stand on saving St Luke’s.

We know David Norris standing for re-election on the Trinity Panel supports St Luke’s.  He launched our book last November ‘Cancer in a Cold Climate: the shafting of St Luke’s.

Businessman and chartered accountant James Coyle (www.jamescoyle.ie)  standing on the NUI panel has pledged his support to the Save St Luke’s Campaign.

Dr John Crown, the oncologist, is also on the NUI panel – the Campaign is not aware of his views on St Luke’s and it would be great if he would come out in support of St Luke’s.

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Campaign contacts Programme for Government negotiating teams

Currently Labour and Fine Gael are negotiating the programme for government. Fine Gael’s representatives are Michael Noonan, Alan Shatter and Phil Hogan.  Labour’s are Joan Burton, Pat Rabitte and Brendan Howlin.  The Campaign has contacted both teams asking that the retention of St Luke’s be included in the Health section of the programme for government.

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Save St Luke’s National Campaign Video on YouTube

Karl Hayden has produced this video for the campaign

YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG-SdtpVo0g

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Campaign Chairman on Dublin City fm radio

Joe Guilfoyle talked to John Byrne today on the Good Morning Dublin show.  Presenter John’s mother was a Luke’s patient. The station broadcasts on 103.2 fm.

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Dylan Haskins Independent candidate in Dublin South East supports St Luke’s

Below an email received from Dylan Haskins today -

Thanks for getting in touch, and sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this issue. I’ve been trying to get to all of my emails and questions from constituents as swiftly as possible, but it hasn’t always been easy to get back to people straight away. Also, I wanted to make sure I had done my research on this issue before responding to you and others who have got in touch about St Luke’s. I was also very interested to hear the opinions voiced at the Rathmines Initiative meeting as well.

I’ve read up a lot on St Luke’s in the past few weeks, and I think there can be only one conclusion to all the evidence that I’ve seen. Patients, their families and staff alike value the service St Luke’s provide. It has a reputation as a top class centre for cancer care and treatment.

In many ways, I understand the logic in amalgamating cancer care into centres of excellence in larger hospitals, but I do not understand the logic in shutting down a centre that is operating extremely well and with which there do not seem to be problems with in standards of care as there are in other facilities around the country whose services will be transferred to other locations.

I don’t see why St Luke’s Hospital should be closed, and I don’t understand why the HSE can’t allow it to continue to operate in conjunction with cancer centres in St James’ and Beaumont. In fact, as far as I can see, these prospective centres could probably learn a lot from St Luke’s, the quality of care it provides, the holistic and calming surroundings that are unique to it, and the relationship it has with the community, with patients and with their families. In these times of economic hardship, we need to use what we have, and that does not just go for St Luke’s, but for every service operating successfully throughout the constituency, the city and the country.

The fact that the HSE, Mary Harney as Minister for Health, local TDs and the government itself did not acknowledge sufficiently the 150,000 signatures gathered in support of saving this fine hospital is nothing short of an affront. I will endeavour to highlight this issue, not just in relation to St Luke’s but in the nonsensical approach to many issues like it in Ireland.

Bureaucracy should never supersede common sense, and the needs of the public, especially those who are most vulnerable, should never be auctioned off by a report or an initiative that goes against the will of the people.

Dylan Haskins

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Gormley says his posters ‘defaced’ all over the constituency by Luke’s Supporters

Speaking on the Pat Kenny show today and responding to a question from Joe Guilfoyle Campaign Chairman, Deputy Gormley said his election posters had been ‘defaced’ all over the constituency by Luke’s supporters.

Has anyone seen these defaced posters?  I have seen a few with rude words and/or a moustache added?  Why does he think Luke’s supporters did this?

I have seen others with a small sticker saying ‘I voted to close St luke’s’ which is the truth – surely he wasn’t defining that as ‘defacing.’  I understood the Greens were in favour of freedom of information – maybe this is not the case?

He said he voted to close St Luke’s because Dr Tom Keane advised him to and you had to take the best medical advice.  Joe pointed out that he hadn’t consulted patients who are also experts.

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Friends of St Luke’s reply….!

Today Feb 16th, The Friends say, after reminders, that our letter was not discussed at their Board meeting on Jan 25th as the letter was sent to their home addresses and ‘therefore dealt with as private correspondence.’

Not one Friends director even emailed receipt of our long letter sent in December raising serious issues about the new cancer unit at James’s.

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Independent candidate backs Luke’s Campaign

James Coyle, an independent candidate in Dublin South East, has today expressed his full support for the Campaign, and will raise the issue in his own campaign.

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Dublin Rotary Club support Luke’s

Thank you to the Dublin Rotary Club for inviting me to address their lunch todayon behalf of the save St Luke’s Campaign.  Your kind words after my talk were much appreciated.  As business people you understand that a business must listen to its customers.  Mary Harney did not listen to her customers, Luke’s patients and their families. Indeed she ignored our petition with 150,000 signatures.

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Friends of St Luke’s ignore the Campaign

In early December, our Chairman Joe Guilfoyle, wrote to all the directors of the Friends at their home addresses, explaining the reality of the ‘centre of excellence’ at James’s with its lack of beds and food for patients and enclosing pictures of the grim environment there including the old prefabs close to the main entrance.  Joe asked the Friend’s directors to review their current passive stance and to come out fighting for Luke’s.

He also commented that the Friend’s website does not highlight the fact that under the cancer control strategy Luke’s is to close and asked that this be made clear because there is confusion over the status and future of Luke’s especially as the Friends continue to fundraise.

The Board met on Jan 25th. Our letter was not discussed, and not one single director even acknowledged receipt of our letter and photographs.

Very disappointing!

Why does the Board of the Friends apparently not care about the future of this great hospital?

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