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Sinn Féin shows how real investment in health services could make a real difference – Doherty

15 December, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty this morning launched his party’s comprehensive plan to deliver a universal healthcare system.

Deputy Doherty said Sinn Féin would use the existing fiscal space to increase spending in health by €3.3billion during the course of a five year term of office.

Deputy Doherty said;

“Politics is about choices.  Fine Gael and the Labour Party have chosen to use the existing fiscal space to cut taxes for the wealthy.

“Sinn Féin makes a different choice.  We have chosen to invest in our health services.

“That means over a five year term of government more than three million people will have free GP care and free prescriptions and every seriously ill child will immediately receive a full medical card and there would be a secure medical card for people with disabilities.

“It mean the €100 charge for the use of Emergency Departments would be ended and 6,600additional frontline workers would be employed including 2500 nurses and 800 consultants to deal with the crisis in our A&E department and to reduce waiting times.

“We would invest €15 million in the ambulance service hiring 290 additional staff and funding more ambulances.

“We would provide €238million additional funding for acute hospitals and 3,800 more nursing home beds with a year on year increase of 10% in home help hours and homecare packages.

“Disability services will be prioritised – we will increase the budget by over a quarter of a million as well as increasing personal assistant hours, speech and therapists, occupational therapists and physios.

“We would hire and additional 80 dentists and orthodontists and120 dental nurses and we would expand orthodontic treatment for children, extend the annual dental check-up, and restore public funding for maintenance treatments.

“This is Sinn Féin’s commitment to our health services.  It is fully costed and fully achievable.  All it requires is political will.

“Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil will only maintain the current chaos in our health services.  Sinn Féin will deliver the required change.” 

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