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Sinn Féin tables no confidence motion in Harney and Government Health policy

26 November, 2007

Sinn Féin has tabled a Dáil no-confidence motion in Health Minister Mary Harney which it says is an indictment not only of her stewardship but of Government health policy and management of the health services. Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"There is no public confidence in the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney and no public confidence in the policy and management of our health services by this Fianna Fáil/Green/Progressive Democrats Government. The scandalous situation in the Midlands which has seen women misdiagnosed after cancer screening and then deplorably treated by the Health Service Executive demands that TDs of all parties now hold the Minister and the Cabinet accountable.

"Minister Harney has presided over this crisis. She and all her colleagues in the Cabinet are responsible for the fundamentally flawed policies and gross mismanagement which has led to situations such as this. Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats have had over a decade to deliver the 'world-class health service' they promised. Instead they have maintained the two-tier system that is riddled with inequity and inefficiency.

"Minister Harney should go - she should never have been appointed in the first place - but that will not be enough. Government policy must also change fundamentally and there must be real political accountability for health policy and health service management. Anything less is window-dressing."

Text of Sinn Féin motion:

That the Dáil:


The scandalous misdiagnosis of women who were screened for cancer in the Midlands region;

The crisis in cancer care including the inadequate provision of radiation oncology with cancer sufferers having to travel inordinate distances for treatment, the long delay in delivery of promised centres of excellence, the diminution of existing cancer services in local hospitals in advance of that delivery, the flawed plan for location of these centres, leaving whole regions inadequately served;

The apartheid in our health services which sees private patients able to gain speedy access to diagnostic services for cancer while public patients must join long waiting lists;

Has no confidence in the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Martin Ferris
Arthur Morgan
Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

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