Dublin Fingal TD Louise O’Reilly new Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal has this afternoon been appointed Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health.
Speaking after the announcement by Party President Gerry Adams TD, Deputy O’Reilly said:
“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 Fianna Fáil with the recruitment moratorium and taken up enthusiastically by the Fine Gael and Labour government. I supported 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.
“As a former member of the National Joint Council of the Health Service for many years, I am honoured to be appointed Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health, taking over from Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, who has held this responsibility for many years. As someone who has worked with health workers for many years, I am especially keen, as part of my new responsibilities, in hearing from staff and their representatives to get their input into health policy and the legislative process.
“I am under no illusion as to the gravity of this new role. Our health system is in crisis. Successive Governments have plunged our health system into chaos- patients, workers and the services have suffered as a result of bad political choices. Indeed, given some of the flagged reforms to the health system from newly published Programme for Government, it is obvious that the upcoming term will be highly contentious.
“The reality is that the incoming government seeks to carve the hospital system up into bite sized portions, easily palmed off onto the private sector and out of the government’s hands. Ending the two tier health service and the postcode lottery for care has to be key and this cannot be done by privatisation through the back door, as the Government seem intent on pursuing.
“Sinn Féin has a plan for our health service which delivers for patients and which is costed, credible and ready to be implemented. We are listening to those who are working on the frontline and who see the impact of health policy at first hand. As Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health, I will continue to develop our health policy, listen to those workers and fight for an end to the two-tier health system that has entrenched inequality in our health service for so long.”