The latest figures for homelessness in Ireland have been published and for the first time the numbers counted are above 10,000. With over 3,700 children without a home, and the numbers of homeless families still growing, there is widespread dismay at the government’s failure to meaningfully respond to this long-running crisis, says Kevin Hargaden.
Our most recent edition of Working Notes, Issue 83, deals with the theme of the Harm of Inaction. It features articles from experts around Europe that reflect on harm in the light of the Centre’s four focus areas: penal policy, environmental justice, economic ethics, and housing and homelessness. Kevin Hargaden provides homily notes to accompany this edition.
The former chair of the Housing Agency, Conor Skehan, appeared on RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live last night to discuss the ongoing housing crisis. A number of assertions he makes during the interview as well as his attack on services provided for people experiencing homelessness need to be challenged, says Kevin Hargaden.
In our political discourse, every question of human flourishing seems to be reduced to bottom-line thinking. This focus on riches impoverishes our shared discourse and has serious negative consequences for society Click here to view material on Economic Justice
The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice focuses on a number of other issues... Explore all here
Peter McVerry SJ discusses drug decriminalisation in the Irish Times
Writing a series of five opinion pieces for the Irish Times, McVerry, in his latest article, discusses why he believes drugs should be decriminalised. He argues that the ‘war on drugs’ has failed wider society and the person dependent on drugs.
The cost to the individual when their substance misuse is treated with punishment, and the woefully inadequate number of treatment facilities in the country.
Together with the Adelaide Hospital Society and TASC, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice hosted a major one-day conference - Health Service Reform and the Government's First Year: What Progress. The Conference was extremely well-attended and heard stimulating contributions from a range of speakers.
In a context of intense focus on the economic and financial difficulties facing the country, the Irish health system remains one of the few issues capable of taking centre stage in media and public discussion. We now find ourselves faced with not just the kind of health service crises that have characterised the past two decades but with new problems arising from the fact that the recession itself will have a major ‘health impact’.
On the one hand, poverty and financial worries, anxiety about the future, and the stresses associated with joblessness are all likely to take a serious toll on people’s health. On the other, the need to address the deficit in the public finances will mean it will be harder and harder to sustain, let alone improve, health service provision.
14 December 2007
For Immediate Release
Jesuit Centre again calls for a real debate on the slide towards turning health care a profit-making industry
The publication today of a new health bill which among other things will enable the proposed co-location of a private hospitals on the grounds of St James’s Hospital and Beaumont Hospital to go ahead, has again drawn attention to this Government’s seeming determination to reshape Irish health care in the direction of a private, for-profit system, says the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in a statement issued today.
Michael Moore made his latest film, Sicko, as a warning to the American people of the danger of for-profit health care. However, when Margaret Burns – social policy officer for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice – saw Sicko, she saw it as a warning to the Irish people of what our health care service could become. Each week a new health service scandal hits the news, and the debate between public hospitals and private hospitals is raging ever hotter. Lena Jacobs spoke to Margaret Burns about her article “A Horrible Warning? Lessons for Ireland from Michael Moore's Film, Sicko” that has recently been published in the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice's journal Working Notes. Here she is asked why she decided to write the article...
Margaret Burns, Policy Officer, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
Michael Moore’s film, Sicko, now on general release, dramatically highlights how the wealthiest country in the world, and one which spends a much larger percentage of its GDP on health than other developed countries, fails to provide an adequate and fair system of care for its citizens. The film carries its message through people’s own accounts of being denied medical care or being required to pay exorbitant amounts of money for services; it does so also through the voices of people who have worked in America’s health insurance industry and who reveal how, for that industry, the imperative of making profit takes precedence over enabling people to obtain care.
Sicko makes a person want to weep at the unnecessary human suffering that results from this system. But alongside the heart-rending stories, Moore employs humour to highlight the absurdity as well as the cruelty of the system. Sometimes the humour is unintended – as when it emerges that a letter we are shown, in which a woman’s requests for referral for specialist services are turned down, is from ‘The Good Samaritan Medical Practice Association’. Perhaps the Good Samaritan should sue?
Irish Health System, Vision, Values and Reality" is a new publication
prepared jointly by The Adelaide Hospital Society and the Jesuit Centre
for Faith and Justice.
This new publication - uniquely the product of Protestant and Catholic
organisations working together challenges the current direction of
Irish health service reforms. In a detailed overview of the Irish
health system, it challenges the growing privatisation of health care
and states that this is contrary to the values which ought to govern
the provision of health care.