O’Dwyer calls for complete overhaul of healthcare provision and management of health services following Covid 19. The now independent Local Area Representative for the Dublin Mid-West constituency is calling on all left leaning parties and independents to form a coalition to change health services. His calls come following the resurfacing of a video of Dr. Mike Ryan of the WHO. In the video Dr. Ryan stated that it is not just Covid 19 killing people, it is underprivilege and lack of access.
Commenting on the video O’Dwyer, a healthcare worker and nursing studies student said: “This made me think so much of the women of Ireland, members of the Travelling Community, the homeless and those in direct provision. The State has failed women time and time again, the State has not even begun to address the lack of equal access for members of the Travelling Community for the basic services of the State let alone healthcare. “We need a new people’s based healthcare system with community healthcare hubs/primary healthcare centres that are able to meet the needs of the community as a whole. Whether it’s geriatric care, disability care, addiction care or mental health services. We need to eradicate the barriers that hold people back from accessing services such as healthcare illiteracy, when I worked in homeless services I seen a volunteer program set up to support homeless people access health services. These volunteers, or healthcare peer advocates, would meet with patients, travel and attend appointments with patients and help them understand what was being said but would advocate for the patient as well.
“We need to make sure that management groups are not just gravy trains for the already privileged individuals. They should be reflective of the healthcare needs of the community. With direct input from stakeholder and advocacy groups that capture the real health issues faced, for example, in the Travelling Community the rate of suicide is high and this is a serious issue for that community. Are there any members of the Travelling Community on hospital boards? Or on the boards of mental health services? I stand open to correction but I am not sure there are.
“We need to stop exporting our health issues, we need to start looking at how to make Ireland attractive to experts. We need a fundamental change in pay rates, and conditions for all on the frontline. We need to cap the pay of those on the top and redistribute down to lower grades but also service provision. “Our healthcare workers are willing, it is those at the top, it is those on the ridiculous rates of pay and those with control that are causing delay to change.