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Harney insults Cystic Fibrosis sufferers – Ó Caoláin

31 March, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as "appalling" the decision by the Minister for Health & Children and the Health Service Executive to renege on their commitment to develop the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin to the standard required to save the lives of CF patients.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Minister Harney and the HSE, in an appalling decision, have reneged on their commitment to CF patients to develop the unit at St. Vincent’s. This facility should have been fully developed long before now and its delay has cost lives.

"The Minister’s latest pronouncement that she will look at the feasibility of using private capital to provide the unit adds insult to injury. This is a recipe for further delay and is the Minister’s knee-jerk response to every problem in the health service.

"It is a damning indictment of successive Governments that these facilities have not been provided during the past decade of economic prosperity, given that Ireland has the highest prevalence and most severe types of CF in the world and the poorest resources for CF patients in Europe.

"If this decision, described as ‘devastating and soul-destroying’ by the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland, is not reversed then patients will undoubtedly die unnecessarily.

"The promise to develop the CF Unit in St. Vincent’s and to have it fully operational by 2010 must be fulfilled. Nothing less is acceptable." ENDS

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