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Cullinane says sticking plaster solution to health care crisis unsatisfactory

8 July, 2011

Speaking on the Medical Practitioners Bill in the Seanad Today Sinn Féin Seanad Spokesperson on Health Senator David Cullinane described the Minister’s proposals as a sticking plaster solution. He said the unsatisfactory system of medical staffing and training and deployment of hospital services needs to be addressed as a priority.

Speaking in the Seanad today Senator Cullinane said

“My party has consistently raised the crisis of a shortage of Junior Doctors in our hospitals and the potential of a collapse of services in many hospitals if action was not taken. I welcome this Bill in so far as it seeks to prevent a collapse of services but it is a stop-gap measure. We have known for many years that our hospitals are totally over-reliant on Non Consultant Hospital Doctors.

“The previous Government institutionalised the two-tier health service in this state. The current Government are making no real attempt to dismantle this system and replace it with a fair, accountable and single-tier service. They seek to continue to protect the privileged position of hospital consultants. The public-private consultant’s contract was renegotiated but consultants are still availing of excessively generous salaries from the public purse while continuing with their private practice. This is unacceptable and reinforces the two-tier system.

“My party colleague in Leinster House Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin pointed out in the Dáil recently that many of those contracts are not being honoured and no proper monitoring is in place. This is appalling. The Minister needs to deal deliver real change in health care that priorities primary care, dismantles the two-tier system in our acute hospital services and replaces the HSE with Community Health Partnerships to allow for proper scrutiny, oversight and accountability.” ENDS

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