Surgery cancellations consequence of government health underspend – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that current surgery cancellations are not acceptable and that escalation policies have not been effective in reducing the amount of people on trolleys.
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said that the current caretaker government are to shoulder blame for choosing not to invest in health and instead prioritising tax cuts for the wealthy.
Deputy Ó Caoláin, who was commenting on criticisms made by orthopaedic surgeon Peter O’ Rourke on acting minister Leo Varadkar’s unsuccessful policy to end the trolley crisis, today said:
“Peter O’ Rourke outlined the dire effects of elective surgery cancellation. It is frustrating for those in the medical profession and devastating for those who are waiting to be operated on. This is not an inevitable state of affairs. The bottom line is that the caretaker government parties made a decision not to invest what is needed in health.
“The outworking of this is a critical shortage of beds in the health system, the escalation of the trolley crisis and the cancellation of surgery. Yesterday’s reports show that close to half a million patients are awaiting treatment or assessment in the public hospital system. When the current caretaker government prioritised tax cuts for the wealthy above investment in our public services, this was the natural and regrettable outcome.
“What Sinn Féin advocated, and what over 295,000 people voted for in the recent election, was a plan to end these scandals once and for all. Our fully costed health policy demonstrates in a very pointed fashion how an ambitious multi-annual recruitment plan, and ultimately, an investment of the 3.3 billion will bring sufficient capacity into our health system.”