Taoiseach absent as Health crisis mounts – Doherty
Sinn Féin TD and Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that it is unacceptable that An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has remained absent in the midst of the deepening health crisis. Deputy Doherty said that the overcrowding in our hospitals was a direct result of the Government’s policy choices and that An Taoiseach needed to account for the resulting chaos.
The Donegal TD said:
“In my Budget 2017 speech, I said that ‘the real test is whether our older people will no longer be left for days on hospital trollies’. I also remarked that ‘there is not enough money in this Budget to keep our health system operating at even its critically overloaded state for the year 2017’. Unfortunately, my fears have been borne out only four months later. Not one week into the New Year and we have seen the worst overcrowding ever in our hospitals.
“This Government is so blind to the realities facing our Health system that they could not even plan for the Flu season which has seen hospitals full to the brim with patients; the most vulnerable in our society suffering indignity and put at risk.
“This chaos is a direct result of policy decisions by this Government to prioritise tax breaks and incentives while public services are run into the ground. Healthcare is becoming a luxury for the better off in society and that is simply unacceptable.
“The blame lies squarely at the feet of Government. Promising to open beds but not hire the staff to provide for them is not a solution. Blaming hospital managers for not doing more with less resources is a pathetic abdication of responsibility.
“As head of Government, the continued absence of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is telling. The Government don’t want to know, but even they cannot ignore the reality that is facing them. Our Health system is grinding to a halt and it is only right that Enda Kenny comes out and tells the Irish people what plans he is going to put in place to reassure those who may now fear walking through the doors of a hospital.”