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Minister for Health must act immediately to address the crisis in Accident and Emergency Departments

6 January, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin outlines proposals to tackle overcrowding

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Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O'Reilly today stated; "the ongoing crisis in our health service, which has manifested itself in unprecedented numbers of patients on trolleys has not developed overnight.  This crisis is the result of years of under investment and it is a direct result of government policy. Therefore only a change in the approach of the government will yield results.

"There is an urgent need to reopen closed beds in our hospitals to increase capacity.  Health workers and their unions have been very clear in identifying the need to increase capacity and this can only be generated by opening beds. The Minister for Health should ensure that this happens as a matter of priority."

Teachta O'Reilly made these comments this morning as she outlined Sinn Féin's proposals to address the severe overcrowding in hospital emergency departments throughout the state.

She continued;

"There are very clear measures that the Minister could immediately take which would begin the process of dealing with the chronic overcrowding.  We believe this should start with the reopening of 500 beds in our hospitals. We also believe  that we need to increase the capacity in primary care. This would enable more patients to transfer to a community setting. This can only be done by increasing home help hours and recruiting more therapists.

"We need to be clear - the buck stops with Minister Simon Harris. He needs to get a grip of this situation and meaningfully address the emergency in our hospital. One thing is obvious - he needs to stop looking for excuses and start focusing on finding solutions."

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