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Health Service ‘on its knees’ – Ó Caoláin

10 November, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Speaking in the Dáil tonight on the grave situation our hospitals face, Sinn Féin TD and Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described the health service as being ‘on its knees’.

The Cavan/Monaghan TD said:

“Reports last week of a 91-year-old man spending 29 hours on a trolley in Dublin’s Tallaght Hospital, while his wife was also on a trolley for nine hours, depict a health service that is on its knees.

“This news emerged following a letter from Dr James Gray, an emergency department consultant, to the chief executive of Tallaght Hospital where he claimed that there were ‘grave and dangerous governance failures’.

“Last week, there were also horrific newspaper reports of an elderly woman placed in an all-male ward due to overcrowding in South Tipperary General Hospital and who was allegedly subjected to a horrific sexual assault.

“Another report is that of Dualtagh Donnelly, the father of two who bled to death while waiting 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, despite the fact that the family home where he lived was only five minutes from the Dundalk ambulance station. He lived close to Louth County Hospital, a Hospital in which the A&E department has been closed.

“The fact of the matter is that these are not isolated incidents and indeed, I am sure that there are many more that we have not heard of. Our health service is a shambles. Overcrowding continues to increase and all measures taken to date have failed to address the critical issues of bed capacity and staffing.

“Our public health service is severely under resourced and requires a commitment not only of a new investment, but to the public ownership model itself and this seems not to be forthcoming from Fine Gael and even more disgracefully from the so-called Labour Party.

“In Sinn Féin's Budget 2016 proposals, we provided an additional €383m to tackle the crisis in the health system and that is just in year one. We identified a number of areas where we would invest in both additional staff and services that have the potential to alleviate the pressures on emergency departments, in maternity units and across the disability services.

“Sinn Féin is committed to the realisation of a world-class system of universal health care that is accessed on the basis of need, free at the point of delivery, and funded by progressive taxation.” 

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