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Current health crisis the result of successive governments mismanagement – Ó Clochartaigh

25 February, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has today condemned the government’s handling of the current crisis in Ireland’s health service, while simultaneously criticising the audacity of Fianna Fáil to move a Private Members Business motion in the Seanad on the failings of the health service they mismanaged for years.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

 “The HSE structure put in place under the Fianna Fáil party and maintained by the present Government was flawed from its inception and is not fit for purpose and the long promised fundamental reform of the organisation has not yet occurred.”

 “We tabled the amendment to the Fianna Fáil PMB because Sinn Féin believes they are equally as culpable for the current state of the Irish health service. However, this does not abscond any blame from Fine Gael and The Labour Party, who have contributed to making the crisis even worse.”

 “Despite no longer being front page news the trolley crisis is still rumbling in Emergency Departments (EDs) across the country with 514 waiting on trolleys yesterday. Waiting lists are growing longer and longer with 385,781 people waiting for outpatient care.

 “We have seen the Minister for Health effectively tell us that ‘Yes, we know it’s bad and we are working on it.’ When we have a situation where nothing is improving, that answer is simply not good enough.”

 “The Minister seems to forget that behind all the statistics there are real people, real families and real heart-breaking situations.”

 “I speak from experience when I say that in the west of Ireland the situation is particularly acute; here are found some of the longest waiting lists in the country. Furthermore, we have recently seen the resignation of a top cancer surgeon from Letterkenny General Hospital due to a lack of resources to do his job correctly.”

 “The €25 million extra provided for the scheme in the budget is likely to be now exhausted. The Government had no issue paying for private banking debt but not a scheme that the HSE’s own chief describes as an Achilles heel.”

 “In Sinn Féin Alternative Budget we would have provided for an additional 1,000 nurses and midwives posts. This would have gone towards returning nursing levels in EDs and on wards to levels seen before the massive contraction of staff numbers overseen by Fine Gael and Labour, a decrease of 2,724 nurses since taking office.  Let us not forget that this followed similarly large cuts by Fianna Fáil.” 

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