LETTER – All-Ireland health service

Dear Comrades,

May I request a little of your column space to comment on an article in the Socialist dated the 2nd of June 2020 relating to an all-Ireland Health Service. While agreeing that underfunding and privatisation is damaging health services in both parts of our country I have some difficulties with the article’s approach.

While the concept of an island health service is certainly laudable, sensible and maybe even achievable, dismissing the trade union movement and 215,000 organised workers in Northern Ireland as unionist-dominated and nostalgic is a very simplistic analysis and will not build the necessary unity to win the argument for either an Island-wide health service or the socialist Ireland it is suggested will bring it about.

Assuming the writer, Comrade Doran, believes broad agreement and consent is still a prerequisite for his proposals, a divisive article like this doesn’t help. This statistically heavy article doesn’t do anything to persuade the masses that either option is a viable one for the foreseeable future. I for one will be continuing with local trade unionists and the community (of all political hues) to defend the NHS as the best option for local workers at this time. I am neither nostalgic or unionist.

Yours sincerely,
Jim Quinn
Honorary Member, Fermanagh Council of Trades Unions