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Constant crisis in health system due to government ineptitude – Ó Caoláin

14 January, 2016 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has condemned the present government for failing to invest adequately in our healthcare system, which has resulted in a worsening trolley crisis and ever-stretching waiting lists.  

Speaking in the Dáil today on a Private Members’ Motion put forward by Sinn Féin, which seeks to safeguard the health of Irish citizens, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“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. 

“Our health system is in a state of constant crisis. This is not a matter of debate; trolley numbers have spiked, waiting lists stretch into years, and medical staff trained at home are leaving in droves due to poor working conditions.

“The ‘Trolley Watch’ figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) regularly highlight the impact of decades of government failure to adequately provide for the sick and the vulnerable. Yesterday 356 patients languished on trolleys.

“This crisis can be boiled down to two key failings on the part of successive governments; firstly, an extreme depth of fundamental inequality in how patients are treated, differentiated on ability to pay and location, and secondly, the sheer incapacity of the system to deal with even demographic pressures, evidenced particularly in our Emergency Departments and maternity care.

“Sinn Féin is putting forward this motion in an effort to seriously address the situation in our emergency departments. The ongoing crisis in hospital emergency departments denies our citizens their right to timely access to healthcare with dignity and is a betrayal of the Republic envisioned in 1916. This can be changed. Contained in this motion are realistic proposals that can do exactly that.  I urge all voices in the House to support the Sinn Féin motion.”

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