■ Introduce a universal public and free health service in Ireland with no private practice use of public resources.
■ Open 24-hour primary care centres – multi-disciplinary health clinics staffed by GPs, nurses, midwives, and specialist practitioners.
■ We seek to review mental health services and facilities to ensure the highest standard of care and services for people affected by mental health issues. We include in this a national strategy to deal with suicide, depression, dementia, community and hospital care facilities, and issues of mental health relating to children and young people.
■ We would immediately remove fluoride from our main water supply
■ We would seek to overturn the EU ban on the use of herbal medicines and home remedies .
Mental Health Reform
Fís Nua calls for the immediate implementation, within the Health Service Executive (HSE), of the 5-point plan of the Campaign group Mental Health Reform as follows:
1. Establish an Accountable Structure: Establish a dedicated executive position at the highest level of the HSE that is responsible for implementing A Vision for Change. This should be led by a Director for Mental Health Services who has executive powers, an implementation budget and responsibility to report publicly on progress.
2. Publish a Plan: Publish a comprehensive implementation plan for A Vision for Change setting out deliverables, a timeline and who is responsible.
3. Financial Commitment: Commit to raising funding of mental health services from 5% to 8% of the health budget by 2016 and to clear reporting on mental health spending.
4. Enact Legislation: Enact legislation to improve the health service’s accountability for planning and financing mental health service reform.
5. Promote Cross-departmental Action: Promote specific cross-departmental action on mental health and the implementation of the National Disability Strategy to effectively combat social exclusion, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental health problems.
■ We must have independent inquiries into the social services that are responsible for childcare, and have so very much let our children down. There must be legislation introduced immediately to protect our children.
■ Introduce a Guardian Ad Litem service for all children at risk. This would be a voluntary position, where at least one individual citizen would act as an advocate for those children, to ensure that their needs and rights are met by state provision. This service would also extend to immigrant children alone in this country.
■ At present, only qualified Social Workers can become Guardians. This needs to change. Anybody with a concern, a willingness and who has been Garda vetted could do it.
■ Further to this, there has to be a Redress Board within our judicial system, which recognises and compensates all those who were mistreated, abused, neglected or lost their lives while in the care of the State.
■ Have a referendum within 12 months to amend the Constitution to include the specific rights of children and implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child into Irish legislation.
■ Establish the Register of Persons considered unsafe to work with children and ensure that the Gardaí Vetting Unit is extended and adequately resourced and incorporates a suitable appeal system.
■ Introduce legislation prohibiting the advertising, marketing and promotion of ‘junk’ foods to children under 12.
■ Introduce a Care of the Elderly Act, with regulations to include registration and inspection of care facilities, qualification of staff and Garda vetting of care personnel.
■ Establish an Ombudsman for Older Persons and initiate a National Positive Ageing Strategy across Government Departments.
■ Establish a National Care and Repair Scheme for Senior Citizens living at home to alleviate some of the major expenses of home maintenance.
■ Abolish means testing of the carers’ allowance.
■ Develop a National Strategy for Carers within 12 months.
■ Ensure a rights-based approach to disability.
■ Introduce a Cost of Disability payment of approx. €40 per week.