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Fine Gael have lorded over a broken, two-tier health system – Andrews

15 February, 2016 - by Chris Andrews


Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Chris Andrews has dismissed Fine Gael’s health policy launch today as simply the ‘propagation of further bad policy’. He continued by saying that “Fine Gael have lorded over a broken, two-tier health system that was codified by Fianna Fáil and made worse through austerity measures” and that this was made tragically apparent by the damning HIQA report into conditions in the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St.

Cllr. Andrews outlined Sinn Féin’s alternative that would culminate in universal healthcare for all citizens.

Cllr. Andrews said:

“Fine Gael have the gall to pretend that their plan for health for the past five years has been anything but an abject failure. Their announcement today is simply the propagation of further bad policy. Fine Gael have lorded over a broken, two-tier health system that was codified by Fianna Fáil and made worse through austerity measures that have left thousands languishing on hospital trolleys despite the valiant efforts of an under-resourced and mismanaged health service.

“There are 404 people on trolleys in Ireland today. Last Tuesday, there were 539; this is but a fraction lower than the 569 that prompted James Reilly to vow that ‘never again’ would we see such numbers. That was October 2013 and still those in dire need of care and treatment in our country are left vulnerable. The crisis has gotten so bad that we are running out of trolleys in some cases.

“The damning HIQA report into conditions in Holles St. only lends further credence to the fact that Fine Gael have failed in the area of Health.

“Sinn Féin have a practicable, costed plan of targeted investment of an additional €3.3 billion to tackle the trolley crisis and scandal of years long waiting lists. Enda Kenny promised to end the trolley crisis nine years ago and during both his time in opposition and in government, the situation has gone from crisis to breaking point.

“Our investment would  prioritise automatic medical cards for children with disabilities, free GP care for all commencing with lower income households, the abolition of prescription charges and extension of free prescription drugs to all, the removal of hospital charges, the rollout of universal dental care, the expansion of ambulance services, and ending two-tier access to public hospital care.

“This is all aimed at working toward universal healthcare for all citizens. We must take care of our citizens in both sickness and health. The right to healthcare, housing, decent and affordable childcare, these are the duties of a government to provide and Sinn Féin will act as a government should.” 

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