Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin publishes Dáil motion on Emergency Department crisis

12 January, 2016 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has today published his party’s private members motion on the crisis in our hospital emergency departments which will be debated and voted on in the Dáil this week.

Speaking from Leinster House this afternoon Deputy Ó Caoláin said not only has Taoiseach Enda Kenny spectacularly failed to keep his promise to end the trolley crisis but he has now refused to give a commitment to do so if he is re-elected.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said;

“The crisis in our emergency departments was entirely predictable.  When you starve services of resources you get chaos.

“Enda Kenny famously promised to end the scandal of patients on hospital trolleys ahead of the last election.  He has failed spectacularly to keep that promise.  But not only that, he has now refused to give a commitment to end the crisis if re-elected.

“This is completely unacceptable.  Anyone who is not committed to ending the crisis in our emergency departments is not fit to be elected to the Dáíl never mind the position of Taoiseach.

“Sinn Féin is putting forward this motion in an effort to help ease the situation in our emergency departments.

“We need to increase the number of hospital beds available in the system in order to move people from trolleys and into wards.  We need to recruit more nurses into our ED and acute hospital system.  We also need to increase home help hours and homecare packages to help support older people in their homes and take pressure off our hospitals.

“Alongside these measures we need to further increase funding for the Fair Deal Scheme to secure more nursing home beds immediately and we need to develop the capacity of our public nursing home provision.

“All of this requires serious investment and that is what Sinn Féin is committed to.  Fine Gael and Labour would rather spend the available resources on tax breaks for the most wealthy in society but Sinn Féin is committed to quality public services that benefit everyone.” ENDS

Text of motion follows:

Fógra Tairisceana : Notice of Motion



“That Dáil Eireann:

considers the ongoing crisis in hospital emergency departments a denial of the right of timely access to healthcare with dignity and a betrayal of the Republic envisioned in 1916;

remembers inspirational figures such as Dr. Kathleen Lynn, a 1916 veteran and founder of St. Ultan’s Hospital for the Children of the Poor, who pioneered public health initiatives in the most difficult and conservative of times, and re-commits to the principle enshrined in the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil Éireann that ‘it shall be the duty of the Republic to take such measures as will safeguard the health of the people’;

condemns the decision of the Government to not invest adequately in the defence of the nation’s health which saw an entirely predictable worsening of the trolley crisis in the opening weeks of the centenary year; and

concurs with the view of Dr. James Gray and other healthcare professionals who have described as a ‘national scandal’ Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation figures that show the numbers on trolleys close to 500; and

calls on the Government to:

increase the number of hospital beds in the system and reverse the flow of nurses and doctors out of our public health system by committing to ambitious multi-annual recruitment targets and to allocating the additional €412 million necessary to increase nursing numbers by 2,500 and consultants by 800 over five years;

commit to incrementally increasing annual funding for the Fair Deal Scheme by an additional €125 million in order to increase nursing home bed numbers by 900 additional beds in year one, 800 additional beds in year two and 700 additional beds in year three, four and five;

commit to increase home help hours and homecare packages in year one by 10 per cent at an estimated cost of €31 million and by a further 10 per cent on the baseline year in years two and three with a resulting rise in spending of €93 million; and

establish an Emergency Department Taskforce on a permanent basis.” — Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Gerry Adams, Jonathan O'Brien, Mary Lou McDonald, Michael Colreavy, Seán Crowe, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Sandra McLellan, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín.

[11 January, 2016]

Connect with Sinn Féin