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Sinn Féin will deliver universal health care - Ó Caoláin

7 February, 2016 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said “Sinn Féin is the only party with a costed, credible plan for health.  We will increase investment in the health system and use €3.3billion of the money available to end the two-tier public private system and deliver a new universal public health system for Ireland.”

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“Inequality is rife throughout the health system.  Some pay more than others for the same care.  Families in one part of the country get access to necessary services denied to those in a different region.  The less well-off die younger and live less healthy lives.  The diminishing minority who can afford private health insurance get to jump the queue.

“This is not acceptable.

“Sinn Féin is the only party with a costed, credible plan for health.  We will increase investment in the health system and use €3.3billion of the money available to end the two-tier public private system and deliver a new universal public health system for Ireland.  Such a comprehensive system will not be achieved overnight but a beginning must be made and that requires political will and a fundamental change in the direction of policy, away from the current two tier, increasingly privatised system.

“The immediate priority must be to improve access to care for all.  We need to build greater capacity into the system including recruiting 6,600 additional frontline health workers increasing the number of beds, more services in the community and 3,800 additional nursing home places to tackle the recurring trolley crisis.

“We will increase the mental health budget and complete the rollout of Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurses.

“We will eliminate private activity in public hospitals while replacing this revenue stream.  We propose to incrementally reduce and ultimately eliminate health user charges, from GP fees to charges for prescription drugs, all in a strategic way and as resources allow.

“Ireland is the only EU health system that does not provide universal access to primary care and Fine Gael have now abandoned their promise to extend free GP care to the entire population.

“Sinn Féin has a plan to roll out free GP care for all.  This will begin with the extension of automatic medical cards to every child with a serious illness or disability, secure medical cards for adults with disabilities and extending free GP care to the remainder of the population by approximately 230,000 additional people a year. We will also abolish prescription charges.

“We will maximise the potential of all-Ireland cooperation in the field of healthcare. As the only all-Ireland political party, Sinn Féin in government would be uniquely placed to maximise this potential.” 

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