There was a brouhaha a few weeks ago that some MLAs were going to visit 'Communist Cuba' to look at their health system, which by all accounts is exemplary. The thinking behind the objection was, of course, that by admitting that a (vaguely) Communist system might produce something good would by implication suggest that capitalism had produced something inferior.
Not being a medical person, I don't know the truth or untruth of that, but I do know that the funding for our medical system here in the north is shameful. The NHS is a noble idea and institution: that all citizens should receive whatever medical care they may need. What is the reality? The British government prepares to pour some £34 billion into a nuclear replacement for the death -dealing Trident system, while the NHS is starved of funds and must raise money for such causes as cancer care by relying on the goodness of private citizens.
One such citizen is Siobhan McAleer. She's a 22-year-old Tyrone woman and she's working tirelessly to raise funds for Charis Care. This Friday she'll be auctioning a signed pair of gloves and t-shirt belonging to the great Shay Given at Owen Mulligan's (Mugsy) Bar Cookstown. If you can be there, be there. If you can't, check out how you can support Siobhan in the work she's doing. Did somebody say young people are self-centred? This young woman is a walking (and running) contradiction of any such notion. You can find out more about Charis Care on Facebook
And here's Siobhan's message and contact:
Hi All, I am running for Lady of the Lough 2012 and will be representing the Mill Wheel Bar. All support will be much appreciated x