Fully integrated health service north and south makes sense – O’Reilly
Speaking today as she published Sinn Féin’s United Ireland vision for Healthcare, Sinn Féin TD and Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said that the crisis in health facing citizens north and south are only compounded by having two health services on the island, with wasteful duplication and illogical back-to-back development.
The Dublin Fingal TD said:
“We need to build a National Health Service for all Ireland that values its health workers and ensures fair pay and good working conditions for all. There currently exists an unacceptable disparity between health services in Ireland, North and South, which can only be addressed by developing healthcare on an all-Ireland basis.
“Citizens in the South are forced to endure an inequitable two-tier system, lengthy waiting lists for routine procedures, overcrowded Accident and & Emergency Departments, and overworked nurses and doctors. In the North, Tory-imposed austerity has placed the health service under unprecedented strain with resulting hardship for patients and healthcare staff.
“Sinn Féin believes that we must move from increased cooperation to full integration of services on the island, taking the best from both systems and maximising the healthcare benefits for all, achieving greater economies of scale and increased service provision.
“Irish unity would create a real demand and expectation that the issue of a properly funded, public health system would finally be addressed. In order to reverse ongoing moves towards privatisation of the health service, we must ensure that threats to further outsource healthcare are resisted and that we move to all-Ireland health planning at a time when we need full integration across the island.
“An Irish National Health Service will not be achieved overnight but a beginning must be made. Regardless of which side of the border you live and work, partition makes us poorer and sicker than we need to be. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right in a modern civilised society.”
Note: Please see the document attached