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Amalgam in Tooth fillings: Harmless but DON’T use it?

Last week a number of media outlets reported that EU had brought in a law that outlawed the use of Dental Amalgam for fillings for children under 15 and pregnant or breast feeding women. The law is from 2017 already, but it came into effect only on 01 July.

So what is Amalgam? Amalgam is compound for tooth fillings that contains Mercury. Mercury is highly toxic but for some odd reason it is allegedly harmless when in your mouth.

The Irish Times wrote in an article “Mercury is the only liquid metal and, while safe when used in dentistry, has been associated with incidents of poisoning, as in the Bay of Minamata in Japan where, in the 1950s and 1960s, a disfiguring disease was identified to be associated with industrial-scale mercury poisoning.”

So it’s safe, but causes poisoning!? How does that make sense?

The Irish Times continued and claimed that the change was part of the Government’s adherence to the Minamata Convention, a United Nations agreement dating from 2013, which aims to protect human health and the environment by reducing, or eliminating altogether, the use of the chemical element mercury.

But it might not surprise you that the Irish Government delayed the change until the very last moment and that it only did so because of a EU law change.

Interestingly Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany have banned or restricted use of amalgam already in 2011. But the Irish Government thought it was appropriate to allow the use for another 7 years! SEVEN!

Now why is this change happening? After all the Health Service Executive in Ireland said that the Amalgam compound was “a safe, reliable and durable filling material, and has been used successfully for over 100 years”. So something safe and perfect will be banned? Isn’t that odd? Bans are normally reserved for dangerous things, no?

Well, interestingly if you are older than 15 or not pregnant, you can currently still get Amalgam fillings DESPITE the fact that many other countries saw the need to ban it.

So is it dangerous or not? Dentists and Health Service Executive tell us that it is safe, but how could they not do that. It would imply that they were lying all along. The ban for children and pregnant women is a clear admission that it is NOT safe.

DON’T use it and tell your dentist that you do NOT want any Amalgam fillings added!

 

Don’t get sick in Ireland!! – Disastrous Irish Health System

What a shocker! RTE News told us Thursday that the number of people in Ireland who are on waiting lists to be treated or seen by a doctor has grown to a shocking number of over 707,000. This is an unbelievably huge number. 15% of the population of Ireland is waiting!! FIFTEEN percent!!

According to the Euro Health Consumer Index from 2017, the number of Irish patients waiting for surgery or an outpatient appointment is “abysmal”. They have concluded that Ireland has the WORST hospital waiting list in Europe.

It is not totally clear how RTE arrived at this number, but there is an Outpatient waiting list of 511,000 and an Inpatient waiting list of 78,000. There is planned procedure waiting list of 12,000 as well and adding all these up comes to around 600,000. so there are still 100,000 missing. But even if the waiting list was ONLY 600,000, that is still more than 12.5% of the population in Ireland.

If you are affected by this, check out the Cross Border Health Care Directive, this article in the Journal.ie outlines what it does.

VHI SwiftCare Clinics will reject 3.6mio people

2.12 million or 46 per cent of the population in Ireland have private health insurance and of these 2.12 mio, approx. 1.1 mio are members of the first and originally state-created health insurance VHI. That leaves more than 3.6mio that are NOT VHI members.

In 2005 the VHI opened so called VHI SwiftCare clinics in Dundrum, Swords and Cork, SwiftCare Clinics are walk-in, urgent care clinics that provide treatment and advice for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. Access to professionals with no significant waiting times was extremely attractive to many in need of urgent medical help and therefore these clinics have been used by lots of people, despite their relatively expensive price (VHI members got a discount, others had to pay full price).

But from 01 September things will change for 3.6mio people: Access to QUICK professional care (for a price) will be closed to all non-VHI members. People that are not a member of the VHI will be rejected by the VHI Swiftcare clinics.

The VHI is fully within their rights to restrict access if they think it makes sense. The Swiftcare Clinics is a commercial operation and they seem to think that VHI members get a bad services in the clinics because non-members clog up the system.

But at the same time, everybody has to decide if that is the level of care they expect their health service provider to show. Keeping in mind that nobody ever got anything for free but at least even people that were not VHI members could (for a price) get a good level of service in the past and not anymore in the future.

www.thejournal.ie/vhi-healthcare-customers-swiftcare-clinic-3445536-Jun2017/

National Maternity Hospital – Get the religious orders out!

It is puzzling to the highest degree how Irish politics – even in 2017 – still colludes with religious organisations. Sure there was a long history of influence and there are still plenty of politicians who still don’t understand that no church or religious organisation should be allowed to interfere with the state, but do we have to wait until they are dead before things will change?

The newest scandal is the fact that the Sisters of Charity, an order of Catholic nuns, will own the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) next to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Ballsbridge. They will not just have some shares or get a percentage of the profit, no, they will OWN the hospital. You might wonder if they will build it or buy it because if you and I own something, we usually have to pay for it? No! They won’t have to pay for it! The fact that they are owning the land on which the National Maternity Hospital will be built seems to be enough to give them ownership. That is shocking!

The Sisters of Charity were one of the religious organisations that proved in the past that back then they were NOT able to look after the welfare of mothers and children. And after the swamp was cleaned, regrettably the Sisters of Charity didn’t provide the compensation payments that they had promised to the “redress scheme”. For many, this is the reason why they are totally against that religious order to own the NMH. I agree that that definitely can’t be ignored, but for me it is even a bigger problem that the separation of church and state should just never allow such intermingling.

Keep the interests separate from each other and you won’t get into dodgy or tricky situations when certain treatments could interfere with religious principles. The Department of Health claims that they are in charge and won’t let anybody interfere, but there can’t be any guarantee for that.

The solution? Buy the land from the religious order! I think the Sisters of Charity should pay what they owe regarding the compensation that they are due, but at the same time, the state should fairly then pay for and afterwards own the land the NATIONAL Maternity Hospital stands on. There is NO other option!

Sugar Drink Tax? Another nonsensical idea of our government!

Taxes are raised in Ireland (and most other countries) not to regulate something or to improve something directly related to the taxed item, but for the state to make money. But now our government wants to introduce a tax on Sugar-containing drinks to fight obesity.

Well, first of all, I can’t imagine that it will have the slightest impact on obesity. If you buy a bottle of coke for EUR 2 today, then the 20% or 40c increase won’t stop tooo many people from buying that bottle. And if you buy a non-branded 2l bottle of sugar-containing soft drink for maybe 55 or 75 cent then the new price would be 66 cent or 90 cent respectively. Does anybody really think an increase of 11 or 15 cent will change the buying behaviour significantly. Nonsense! Obesity will not be affected in the slightest by these increases.

The only area where it could have an impact is in a pub or restaurant where you already pay a very high EUR 3 or more for a small bottle of soft drink. If the 20% increase would apply there than that is a 60 cent surcharge despite the fact that the tiny 0.2 l bottle has much less of an obesity effect than the 11 cent more expensive 2 litre bottle. Odd!

Another interesting aspect is a comparison to other taxes: If Sugar Drink tax is raised to fight obesity, then Motor tax and fuel tax should be used to improve the roads or even better to improve public transport, but it isn’t directly tied to either. It also should maybe help to reduce accidents, especially fatal ones. But that is not the case. Alcohol tax (duties) should be used to reduce alcoholism, but that is not the case. Instead it is just pocketed by the state.

Actually if a Sugar Drink Tax will be introduced to fight obesity, a NEW (and additional) Alcohol Drink Tax should be also introduced to fight alcohol related illnesses. Because 88 deaths per month in Ireland are DIRECTLY attributable to alcohol and over 14,000 people were admitted to the liver unit in St Vincent’s Hospital for the treatment of alcohol dependence in 2011 and every day, 1,500 beds in our hospitals are occupied by people with alcohol-related problems. In 2012 the whopping amount of EUR 1.5 billion was needed for alcohol related hospital discharges. (Statistics are from alcoholireland.ie/facts/alcohol-related-harm-facts-and-statistics/)

Why am I so much against a Sugar Drink Tax? Because most of us are well able to either limit our sugar intake or make up for it through exercise. But the government doesn’t suggest that people who are not obese do not pay the tax, instead they plan to raise the tax indiscriminately. Even if you are stick thin, you will have to pay the 20% more. That just doesn’t make sense.

 
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