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Drumm and Harney losing touch with reality – Ó Caolain

21 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caolain has said Health Minister Mary Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm are losing touch with reality after they both claimed that hospital cutbacks will not affect patient care and after Professor Drumm advocated the use of hotel rooms for patients.

Deputy Ó Caolain said, "Both Health Minister Mary Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm claim that cutbacks in staffing and recruitment in our hospitals will not affect patient care. This is clearly nonsense as an already overstretched service is now expected to cope with fewer front-line staff in place.

"Both the Minister and the Chief Executive seem to be losing touch with reality. How else can one explain Professor Drumm's assertion that the use of hotels is a way forward for hospitals? If patients need to be in hospital they should be in hospital beds. If they do not need to be in hospital then they should be at home and with access to appropriate primary care and secondary care. The hotel 'solution' is a recipe for 'dumping' patients for whom there are not enough hospital beds." ENDS

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