Varadkar visit to Louth County pre-election stunt – Adams
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the visit by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to Louth County Hospital on Wednesday as “a pre-election stunt that will result in none of the significant health facilities or staff numbers cut by this government restored to Louth County Hospital”.
Teachta Adams said:
“As Minister Varadkar visited Dundalk 536 patients lay on hospital trolleys across the state. 31 of these were in Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda. The first three days of this week were among the highest for trolley numbers in recent months.
“Figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show that last year 92,998 people were treated on trolleys in hospitals across this state. This is the highest ever number of patients recorded since the Trolley Watch Campaign began in 2006 and represents an increase of 21% in hospital overcrowding.
“It is also a damning indictment of this Fine Gael/Labour Government.
“The closure of essential services and downgrading of Louth County hospital contributes every day to the numbers of patients on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes.
“Government cutbacks have seen the children’s ward, the maternity unit, the gynaecological unit, the Emergency Department and the Acute Medical Services all go. As these and other services were slashed it inevitably impacted on Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
“And all the time that they were doing this the bankers were getting €64 billion.
“Sinn Féin is committed to creating a universal health care system that will mean no more bills for prescriptions, or bills for visits to the emergency department or to the doctor or for medical procedures.
“Our fully costed healthcare system will be free at the point of delivery, based on need and funded by progressive taxation.
“Sinn Féin believe that a fair society must include all its citizens. And that all citizens have the right to be treated equally. And central to this is the provision of a wrap around health service from the cradle to the grave.”