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Sinn Féin hold Government and HSE to account

22 September, 2008


Sinn Féin representatives’ on the Regional Health Forum for Dublin and the North East this afternoon secured the suspension of standing orders to demand accountability from the Fianna Fáil/Green Party government coalition.

 

The suspension tabled was to discuss the financial crisis within the HSE, the effects on patients and staff and a demand for the public to be advised on what cuts are being planned, from when and how patients will be affected.

 

Opening the discussion Sinn Féin Louth Cllr. Tomas Sharkey said:

 

"The current crisis in the HSE is of the coalition government’s making, it is that simple. There is unprecedented concern both within the HSE itself and communities over what services in their local hospital will be worst hit.

 

"My concern is for patients, their families and frontline HSE staff.  How will they cope with the suspension of orthopaedic and elective services? How long will patients have to wait for the rescheduling of necessary operations?

 

"Suspending operations and appointments in the Dochas Breastcare Unit in Drogheda will not save money. Patients awaiting treatment may end up in A&E or be treated under the National Treatment Purchase Fund at a considerable extra cost.

 

"The HSE has undergone a number of Value For Money Initiatives over the last number of years. Yet still we are faced with the reality that further cuts will affect frontline services despite government commitments. Sinn Féin intends to hold the government to account both locally and within the Dáil and Seanad as the cutbacks to frontline services unfold over the coming weeks and months.

 

"Already we have seen how temporary suspensions have become permanent closures as happened with the Maternity and Respite Departments in Dundalk.

 

Meath Cllr. Joe Reilly added:

 

"HSE staff are in limbo. Morale is low across the state. When treatment is suspended in the orthopaedic unit in Navan there is little saving as theatres are left idle, doctors nurses and carers are still paid but have no work to do."

 

Dublin Cllr. Christy Burke also expressed concern during the debate that “closing one service in a hospital creates a domino effect in all remaining departments by creating backlogs in treatment and creating complications.” ENDS

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