There must be meaningful consultation on Hospital reform proposals – Adams
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil this morning expressed concern that the hospital reform reports published on Tuesday do not provide the necessary clarity for patients, their families, health professionals and local communities.
“There is a serious information gap between the proposals in the reports and the detail of what services will be allocated to which hospitals.”
The Sinn Féin leader sought an assurance from the Taoiseach that there would be full consultation with patients and their families, with health professionals and with local communities.
Speaking afterward Teachta Adams said:
“The key to good hospital services is that citizens get the very best services available and that they have confidence that that is the case.
“It is clear at the moment, despite the work of health professionals and health workers, that this is not the case for many people.
“Tuesday’s reports on Hospital Groupings and the Framework for Smaller Hospitals, have been described by Minister Reilly as ‘a fundamental modernisation of our health system organisation in line with best international practice’.
“That’s more or less what Micheál Martin as Minister for Health said ten years ago when he claimed that the Hanley Report would ‘change forever the landscape of the Irish health service.’
“Irish people are rightly sceptical about false dawns and exaggerated claims.
“If there is potential in Tuesday’s proposals there has to be full consultation with hospital users. They need to know how these reports will affect the quality of health service for them and their families.
“Unfortunately this information is not in these reports.
“It is also a fact that most people don’t have confidence in the Health Minister. He entered office promising to restore the emergency service to Roscommon General Hospital and immediately reneged on it.
“The government has therefore very little credibility with the public on the issue of health. Since it came to power it has been cutting funding for the health services, not enhancing them.
“In this respect there is widespread concern at the cuts to the ambulance services, including in my own constituency of Louth, and this has increased with the dreadful case of Middelton toddler Vakaris Martinaitis who died after a fall.
“This morning there were 290 patients on trolleys. Many hospitals have already lost 24 hour A&E. More will do so under this report.
“So if there is potential in these reports then there needs to be a real and meaningful process of consultation with local communities, patients and their families as well as health professionals.”