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Crumbling health service a stark example of Government failure – Adams

7 January, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said the General Election offers an opportunity for the beginning of a real process of social and economic change.

Speaking in Meath on this evening, where the Sinn Féin leader was formally launching the start of the party’s election campaign and introducing the party’s two candidates Peadar Tóibin for Meath West and Michael Gallagher for Meath East, Mr Adams said that “a stark example of this Government’s failure is to be found in the disastrous state of the health service in County Meath and County Louth.

“The government can bankrupt the state to bail out private bankers. Yet it refuses to establish a public health service. Its policy is to privatise health provision. Sinn Féin has been at the forefront of campaigning for fundamental reform of the health service. The two-tier system must be ended. Healthcare should be available equally to all citizens and adequately funded through a just and equitable taxation system.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The next election is not just about a change of faces in Government. It offers an opportunity for real social and economic change.

“One of the starkest examples of how current Government policy is failing citizens is to be found in the state of the health service.

“This week revealed a record number of patients on trolleys and chairs in our hospitals.

“Savage cuts imposed in the Budget will further decimate an already crumbling health system.

“This Government has taken €765 million out of the public health budget for 2011 and its four-year plan would take a total of €1.4 billion by 2014.

“Thursday’s news of price increases for VHI premiums will further burden ordinary families who took out private health insurance because of a lack of faith in the underfunded health system. With unemployment rocketing many have now had to give up health insurance.

“Here in Meath and Louth, the Government’s disastrous health policy is seen in the ongoing threat to services at Navan hospital where the HSE has refused to guarantee that acute services have a future and in the stripping away of acute medical services, intensive care and A&E services from Louth County Hospital.

“Sinn Féin has been at the forefront of campaigning for fundamental reform of the health service. The two-tier system must be ended. Healthcare should be available equally to all citizens and adequately funded through a just and equitable taxation system.” ENDS

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