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Healthcare chaos is Taoiseach’s biggest reason to go

29 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin who is today leading the party's contingent on the march and rally for a decent health service has said that healthcare chaos is the biggest reason for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to resign.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The Taoiseach has major questions to answer about his finances in the past but he has far more to answer for today given the chaotic state of public health services.

"Less than six months after its formation, the Fianna Fáil/PD/Green Government began to impose cuts in health services. These cuts are affecting patient care despite the false claims of Health Minister Harney and HSE CEO Brendan Drumm that they would not do so.

"In its General Election Manifesto Fianna Fáil said: 'We believe the interests of public patients must be protected and that the best way to do this is to invest in expanded services.' They also promised to 'increase the numbers of beds, consultants, nurses and other professionals in our hospitals and, through the reform of key work practices and continuing substantial investment, deliver faster and
better care for patients'.

"Instead we have seen cuts across our health services, longer waiting lists for public patients and increased numbers on trolleys in A&E compared to this time last year.

"In its Manifesto the Green Party stated: 'Access to appropriate healthcare is a basic human right." The Greens promised to "lift the cap on public health employment to allow increased staffing'.

"Instead the Greens have participated in the deepening of healthcare apartheid through their support for the notorious private for-profit hospital co-location scheme which they criticised when in opposition. And they bear collective responsibility for the cuts, including staffing
cuts in direct violation of their own commitments.

"Chaos in our Health Service is the biggest reason for the Taoiseach to go. He and his Government colleagues have failed miserably in their biggest single responsibility which is to provide a decent health service." ENDS

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