The HSE West decision to slash its budget by a further €50 million is presented by them and the Dublin government as being unavoidable and necessary. It is neither.
These health cuts, just like attacks on other essential public services, workers' pay and social welfare are deliberate political decisions taken by a government who care nothing about the poverty, suffering and illness they cause.
They say they have not the money to fund these services yet have no hesitation in pumping tens of billions of euros bailing out the banks. While targeting the cuts at working class people, they refuse to target the wealthy elite who created this crisis in the first place.
Off the west coast of Ireland (Atlantic Margin), where these latest health cuts are to be imposed, lies tens of billions of euros worth of oil and gas.
This administration is spending millions of euros to facilitate their give-away to multi-nationals like Shell et al.
These oil and gas reserves could be nationalised, refined safely at sea and its wealth used to reverse the cutbacks and invest in providing sustainable first class health, housing and education services for all.
So any debate about cutbacks needs to start from an honest position, not based on the false premise that they are unavoidable and that the finance is not there.
The wealth exists, but Fianna Fáil and the Greens have shown their priority is to protect the wealthy elite, the banks and giant multi-nationals at the expense of working class communities and the most vulnerable in society.