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Harney has failed and should resign – Ó Caoláin

2 January, 2008

Even on her own terms Mary Harney has failed as Health Minister and should now resign, according to Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. He was responding to the latest survey showing that waiting times in A&E departments have worsened.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "Health Minister Mary Harney has described the situation in our hospital A&E units as a national emergency. She set up a task force to deal with the issue and a target was set of a maximum of 12 hours waiting time. The latest survey shows that Minister Harney has failed and that waiting times are as bad or worse than ever. This has led to scathing and justified criticism of the Minister and of HSE Chief Executive, Professor Brendan Drumm from the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine.

"The A&E survey follows the revelation earlier this week that out-patient waiting lists continue to be unacceptably long with patients facing delays of years in some cases.

"Even on her own terms Health Minister Mary Harney's tenure has been a disaster. She has failed and should resign without further delay. It has been known for years that to address waiting times and waiting lists more public beds in our public hospitals are essential, yet Minister Harney and her colleagues in Government have failed to provide them. Instead they rely on an alleged 1000 public beds being 'freed up' through the infamous co-location scheme'.

"Minister Harney must go and Government health policy must be radically changed towards public provision based on need and in putting the resources where they are needed and that is directly into front-line care." ENDS

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