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Minister Reilly is part of the problem. He must resign. – McDonald

6 November, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has told Taioseach Enda Kenny that Health Minister James Reilly must resign.

Deputy McDonald was speaking in the Dáil following news that the CEOs of the state’s largest hospitals have written to the Director General of the HSE to say that they simply can’t cope with further cuts and that the safety of patients is now in serious danger.

Deputy McDonald said: “The heads of four of the state’s largest hospitals are saying they simply can’t cope with further cuts. They are saying that cancer services will be affected and that patients will suffer.

“Astonishingly the Minister for Health is refusing to comment. Taoiseach, it is clear that Minister Reilly is part of the problem – he is continuing with the same failed approach as Mary Harney and Michael Martin.

“Taoiseach, these are big hospitals, providing vital services – the Mater, St.James’s, Tallaght and Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Their CEOs are saying that your cuts, coupled with demands for fewer staff and shorter waiting lists, are totally unsustainable.

“They say that these cuts are damaging the very foundations of the health system. Even cancer patients are now experiencing unacceptable delays in access for treatment.

“Taoiseach four of the state’s most senior hospital chiefs are telling you that they do not have confidence in your Minister for Health and his agenda of cuts.

“Do you have confidence in Minister Reilly?

“Do you believe that up to a billion euro can be cut from next year’s health budget without hurting patients?

“Are you willing to allow cancer patients to suffer because of the incompetence of your Minister for Health and the austerity policy of your government?

“It is time for him to go. Minister Reilly must resign.”

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