In her life, as in her death, Susie Long highlighted a fundamental human right
— access to a decent health service. She bore witness to the obscenity of our four-tier health service — one for the rich, another for the less-well-off, one for city dwellers, another for the rest. She was crystal clear about why her cancer had been allowed to progress: it was because she had been let down by a health system the Government refuses to fund properly — the public health system.
In a speech made last May in Kilkenny, at the opening of a new services day unit in her local hospital (St Luke’s), Susie Long mentioned the death of a Kilkenny woman who fell asleep at the wheel, exhausted, while driving her child home after a specialist consultation in Dublin.
Her son suffered from hearing loss, not a rare disorder, yet the treatment he needed was available only in Dublin.
The robotic centralisation of cancer care –– as per Government policy –– will add to the burden of many mothers and cancer sufferers.
Many groups have worked tirelessly to expose the scandalous shortcomings of our health service and to underline the impact of Government health policy on the lives of ordinary people.
We now join with Susie Long in calling upon the trade union movement to support our efforts, and those of others, to build a decent public health service open to all irrespective of income or address.
Susie Long spoke from the heart: her sense of solidarity will continue to be an inspiration to all of us who knew her. What a waste of a wonderful life — a mother, a wife, a friend, a fellow activist.
No one, now, can stand idly by.
82 Finglas Park
Health Services Action Group
Monaghan Community Alliance
Dr John Barton
Ennis General Hospital
Dr Christine O’Malley
Dr Eamonn Shanahan
Prof John Nolan
Doctors’ AllianceProf Orla Hardiman
Doctors’ Alliance Philomena Canning
National Birth Alliance Nuala Slattery
Clare Cancer Concern Uria O’Mahoney
Holistic Action Group
Una Ní Chuinn
Roscommon Hospital Action Group
Lymphoma Ireland Support
Dr Teresa Graham
Sociologist Dr Paul O’Connor
Letterkenny General Hospital
Conor, Fergus, Áine McLiamCallan