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Show opposition to health cuts – support Dublin rally – Ó Caoláin

28 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called on people to come out in huge numbers to participate in Saturday's march and rally in Dublin demanding a decent health service.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The Fianna Fáil/PD/Green Government and its quango, the HSE, have imposed cuts rights across our health services. Care of patients is being effected in all public hospitals and another €300 million in 'saving' measures is being threatened. This may save money but it will also cost lives. The Irish Nurses Organisation has warned of the consequences for patients of what it calls 'severe and arbitrary cuts in staffing'.

"I urge people to come out in huge numbers to support Saturday's march and rally in Dublin to show their opposition to the health cuts. These cuts represent a base betrayal of the electorate who voted for the parties now in Government and who were promised an improved health service. They also expose the gross mismanagement of our public health service by a government which prefers to subsidise the private healthcare business.

"The Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney has claimed that the public health service is well staffed. This is a farcical claim. To take just one example - Medical Assessment Units in Cavan, Navan and Drogheda Hospitals which were due to open later this year are now under threat due to staffing shortages.

"Minister Harney has also claimed that there should be redundancies in the health services. Let her set out where she considers redundancies should take place, given the impact on patient care of current staffing restrictions and in light of the Labour Court ruling that the HSE was in breach of Towards 2016 and the EU Information and Consultation Directive in the manner in which it introduced, without prior consultation, staffing restrictions in September 2007.

"I urge everyone to support the march on Saturday, assembling at 2.30pm Parnell Square, Dublin." ENDS

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