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A&E Crisis 'utterly predictable and totally preventable' - Ó Caoláin

12 January, 2005

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described the A&E crisis as highlighted by the Irish Nurses Organisation as both predictable and preventable. He said the failure of the Government to implement its own Health Strategy meant that this was now an annual event and he called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children to deliver on her promises.

Speaking today he said:

"The winter A&E crisis is now an annual event. It is as utterly predictable at Christmas but totally preventable. Many of the remedies are in the Government's own Health Strategy which it has failed to implement. These include:

  • More acute beds in our hospitals as promised
  • The recruitment of the additional nurses required
  • The roll-out of promised Primary Care centres to help take the pressure off our hospitals
  • The conclusion of the negotiations with hospital consultants for a new contract and exclusive working by new consultants in the public system
  • Restoration of A&E services in local hospitals where they have been cut.

"It is scandalous that once again the number of people on trolleys and chairs in A&E units has reached an all-time high in the month of January. Minister Harney's 'new broom' has not swept clean and is clearly threadbare." ENDS

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