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"HSE has become Government enforcer" - Ó Caoláin

20 September, 2007

The Health Service Executive has become the enforcer for Government-imposed cutbacks, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said in response to the news that the HSE has ordered Sligo General Hospital to lay off up to 30 nurses and four consultants. He also slammed the news that the 24-hour A&E service will be ended at Ennis General Hospital. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The threatened lay-off of 30 nurses and four consultants at Sligo General Hospital is disgraceful. The ending of 24-hour A&E at Ennis as signalled by Health Minister Mary Harney is a further blow. These cutbacks are coming in the aftermath of a General Election and in advance of a Budget which promises more public spending restrictions. Having failed to use the unprecedented prosperity of the past decade to transform our health services and provide the world class care they promised, this Government is now presiding over cutbacks in services to patients.
“The HSE has become the enforcer for Government cutbacks. The Government has ensured that there will be no democratic accountability for these decisions. The Government has insulated the HSE from any responsibility to the local communities it is supposed to serve while Health Minister Harney has insulated herself from proper accountability in the Dáil. These cuts must be resisted and we urge communities to mobilise to resist them.”

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