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Government Health Policy an ‘unmitigated disaster’ – Adams

8 May, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in the Dáil today described the government’s Health policy, and the management of it by Minister Reilly, as an “unmitigated disaster for citizens”, and he called for Minister Reilly to go.

The Louth TD also criticised the fact that news of the government’s decision to abandon its commitment to extend free GP care was first reported in the media.

Speaking after Leaders Questions, Teachta Adams said:

“The decision by the government to abandon its commitment to extend Free GP care to those on the long term illness scheme is the latest of many U turns by Fine Gael and Labour in the last two years.

“Myself and others in the Dáil raised this issue with the Taoiseach numerous times over that period. He repeatedly stated the government’s commitment to it.

“Now we are told there is a legal problem about its implementation and that Minister White is going to produce a new plan.

“It is simply not credible that it has taken the government almost two and a half years to discover alleged legal difficulties with this plan.

“This u-turn on election commitments made separately by both Fine Gael and Labour will come as a huge blow and disappointment to the 60,000 people with long term illness.

“It is another example of the mess that is the health service. Just yesterday we had news of thousands of patients waiting four years for outpatient appointments.

“It is a fact that under this government and in particular Minister Reilly’s stewardship that the health service is in tatters.

“Two years ago the government promised “a universal, single-tier health service guaranteeing access to medical care based on need.”

“Free GP care was supposed to be a cornerstone of that policy. Instead we have a continuation of the same two-tier, inequitable health system that we had under Fianna Fáil:

-          The same widespread health inequalities,

-          The same excessive GP fees for people who can’t get medical cards

-          The same long hospital waiting lists

-          And the same savage cuts being imposed in budget after budget.

“Free GP care was a key pledge in the Programme for Government – it hasn’t got past the first step. The government has wasted over two years and no amount of waffle or fudge can disguise that fact”.

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