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What’s happening in Accident & Emergency Department is Personal – Crowe

14 January, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, criticised the Fine Gael and Labour Government for their disastrous health policies and detailed how Sinn Féin in Government would fix Ireland’s health services.

Crowe was speaking in the Dáil during a debate on Sinn Féin’s Private Member Business motion on the Accident and Emergency crisis in Ireland’s hospitals.

Deputy Crowe said:

“I declared an interest at the start of this debate as I was on a trolley a few months ago and my brother-in-law has been on one in the last week, so it’s personal.

“Over 4000 patients were on Accident and Emergency hospital trolleys or chairs during the month of December.

“What is happening in the Health Service is a direct manifestation of a continuity of cuts.

“According to the INMO Trolley and Ward Watch Analysis, the amount of patients on trolleys has increased 40% between 2012 and 2015.

“This Fine Gael/Labour Government has had five years in power, while patients and their families have had to do their time suffering hardship on trolleys, queuing on longer waiting lists then to be told that elective surgery is cancelled because of a lack of beds.

“According to the Sunday Times, the HSE appointed 55 more general managers last year, following the lifting of a ban on recruitment and promotion in the public sector. The HSE now has 268 general managers, earning up to €80,000 a year, up from 213 at the start of 2015 — an increase of 26%.

“Is this the long awaited reform we have been promised?

“This Government is approaching the health care crisis by continuing to bloat middle management levels pushing frontline staff to breaking point and where they are sadly leaving the service.

“The A&E crisis is made worse by the lack of home care support, physio support, and the lengthening elective surgery waiting lists.

“Yet the minutes of the HSE Directorate Meeting on the 26th of November state that they are aiming to make €20m in cuts to social care home support and transitional care costs in 2016.

“It's time to end the chaos brought about by Fine Gael/Labour. Universal Health Care, not Universal Health Insurance, is the solution.

“Sinn Féin’s ‘Better4Health’ policy paper shows how we would begin to address this problem in Government.

“The costed policy document outlines how we would increase the number of hospital beds per 1,000 population, ensure adequate registered nurse/doctor-to-patient ratios and sufficient beds, roll out sustained investment in community services, which allow for appropriate care without hospital admission and/or discharge to appropriate care settings, increase nursing home bed numbers, increase home help hours and homecare packages, and also establish an Emergency Department Taskforce on a permanent basis.

“However, the Government has firmly closed their eyes and ears to problem and his hell bent on privatising our health services, but Sinn Féin will fight them tooth and nail.

“Yes it’s personal for me, but it’s also personal for everyone dependent on our health system. What’s happening to patients in A&Es is wrong and it needs to stop.” 

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