Sinn Féin - On Your Side

PD Ministers should attend to their business

7 February, 2005


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that PD ministers in the FF/PD Coalition government should attend to their business as ministers and spend less time "indulging their antipathy to Sinn Féin". Pointing to what he termed "pending industrial relations melt-down in our hospitals" he said the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney in particular needed to "deliver on her promises to urgently address the scandalous situation in Accident and Emergency units".

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "It is time that Progressive Democrats ministers in the FF/PD Coalition Government spent less energy indulging their antipathy to Sinn Féin and more time on their jobs as Ministers. This applies in particular to Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney who is presiding over pending industrial relations melt-down in our hospitals.

"Stoppages are threatened by thousands of personnel in the health services, including nurses, public health doctors and consultants. These disputes arise directly out of the failure of this and previous Health ministers to address key issues including;

· the Accident and Emergency crisis

· uncertainty over staffing levels and location of staff under the new Health Services Executive, the cornerstone of Government health "reforms" and

· the renegotiation of the consultants‚ contract to ensure greater equity for public patients, now more than two years overdue.

"Minister Harney took over the Department of Health and Children with great fanfare last September, promising to urgently address the scandalous situation in Accident and Emergency units. The Minister acted as if she had come from the Opposition benches and had not shared collective responsibility for this crisis over the past seven years. The situation is now no different from when she took over.

"With the Departmental responsibilities of her colleague, the President of the PDs, and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell equally shambolic, it is time these Ministers shaped up or shipped out." ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin