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Government only bringing chaos to A&E – Ellis

14 January, 2016 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West, Dessie Ellis, has said the government have only caused more chaos in A&E through their pursuit of years of austerity cuts with no long term plan to reform the system for the better. He made his statements as part of a debate on the A&E crisis secured by a Sinn Féin motion.

Deputy Ellis said;

"This is a government elected in a crisis, a government that promised stability, which now faces into election on the motto of the British Tories, offering chaos or stability. For many it is clear that the people offering chaos are actually Fine Gael and Labour.

“Certainly for those in housing need, for those who have lost their home, for those who are sick or disabled, for those who are young adults or entering retirement, this is a government of chaos.

“There is no stability for the people of this country who find themselves in need of the basic services the state should provide. No clearer example of this instability is in our A&E departments where hard pressed doctors and nurses struggle to deal with overcrowded waiting rooms, backing on to overcrowded halls lined with trolleys often occupied by elderly people for extended periods of time that are utterly unacceptable in any context.

“In my own area of Dublin we have we have Beaumont, James Connolly Hospital and the Mater struggling to meet the needs of its patients every day.

“The government will claim they inherited this mess, that may have a kernel of truth but it would be fairer to say that the government have compounded and exacerbated the mess.

“This is the cause of a failure to reform the health service, to tackle its two tier nature, to refocus funding to where it is needed and to treat nurses and frontline doctors with the dignity and respect they deserve. It is the result of 5 years of grinding austerity which has chiselled away at the foundations of the health service while the government hoped and prayed for a saviour in the form of private health insurance.

“In Sinn Fein’s most recent budget document, we showed how the government could invest an additional 383 million euro in health. This would have tackled the trolley crisis, improved ambulance cover and disability services, reduced waiting times and prescription charges. It was predictably ignored by this austerity government.

“We followed that document with the launch of our costed, progressive and realistic plan for health to undo the damage of this and previous governments.

“That is Sinn Fein’s task and we will put our shoulder to the wheel in coming years to build a national, universal and decent health care service, free at the point of delivery for all of the people of Ireland."

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