Louise O’Reilly TD full Árd Fhéis on Health
I had the privilege of representing workers in our health service for many years. I stood with them as the services they advocate so passionately for were dismantled – this project was started by FF with the recruitment moratorium and taken up enthusiastically by the FG and Lab government.
I have had to support health workers as they tried to highlight the impact of government policy on their service and those that depend on their services –
I have defended those same workers when their employers threatened sanctions against them for the very act of speaking up and speaking out.
Rather than arguing with the nurses about when and how the trolley waits are counted or trying to manipulate the figures the new Minister for Health has to take on board what health workers are saying – they have to listen to those who are working on the frontline and who see the impact of health policy at first hand. Rather than making bold statements about how we will never again see over 569 patients on trolleys in a single day – this government need a plan for our health service which delivers for patients and which is costed, credible and ready to be implemented.
In short comrades, this government need to read the SF policy document. Better, fairer, affordable healthcare is possible and while the establishment parties lack the imagination and the vision to deliver this we are happy to help them because we do not lack any vision for an all island health service which available for those who need it.
Ending the two tier health service and the postcode lottery for care has to be key and this cannot be done by stripping out 1 million home help hours – decent health care will not be achieved without a real credible plan to recruit and retain health workers, this will not be done until at least one ambulance per region is added and it cannot be done on a 26 county basis – we need an all island health service for all of the people on this island.
We have the plan – we have a strong team north and south and it is up to us to work hard to make this plan a reality for those who are depending on us. We were elected to be a voice for those who have been left behind by two tier recovery – they are depending on us and we cannot and we will not let them down.