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Sinn Féin protest highlights A&E crisis in Kerry

12 February, 2005


Over 60 people gathered outside Kerry General Hospital today to highlight the problems at the Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department and the government's failure to extend the BreastCheck programme to the south. The protest was organised by the Sinn Féin North Kerry TD Martin Ferris, who said that people in Kerry are "very angry with the government's failure to tackle the crisis in the A&E department, the failure to extend the BreastCheck service and the failure to eradicate hospital waiting lists."

Deputy Ferris was joined by Sinn Féin Councillors Robert Beasley, Cathal Foley and Maisie Houlihan as well as members of the public from across Kerry.

Speaking today outside Kerry General Hospital Deputy Ferris said:

"People in Kerry are very angry with the government‚s failure to tackle the crisis in the A&E department, the failure to extend the BreastCheck service and the failure to eradicate hospital waiting lists. People are waiting on trolleys in corridors, waiting lists have not been eliminated as promised, the BreastCheck service has not been extended as promised and hospital staff have to work under extreme pressure.

"It is not good enough for Mary Harney to say that the government has poured money into the health service, because we haven‚t seen any dividend for this. Two years ago a request was sent to the Department of Health to build an extension to the existing A&E department at Kerry General and it was approved just before Christmas. However, it could take up to four years before it is built. This is not acceptable.

"We have seen unprecedented growth in our economy, we have had the Celtic Tiger, yet we still don't have a health service that we can be proud of. It is time for the government to stop squandering tax payer‚s money and start tackling the many problems in our health service. The people of Kerry deserve better and the people of this country deserve better value for their money. ENDS

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