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Political will needed to implement recommendations in bed capacity review - Louise O'Reilly TD

24 January, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking in response to the eventual publication of the bed capacity review, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly said that she welcomes the review and its recommendations but warned that there needs to be the necessary investment and political will to ensure its recommendations are implemented.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“I welcome the eventual publication of the bed capacity review by the Minister for Health. Its publication date had been put back on a number of occasions but it is important that members of the Oireachtas can now access the report and digest its recommendations.

“There is little in the report that patients, politicians, workers in the health service and their unions, or those in the media didn’t already know. 

"It is important however that there has been acknowledgement by Minister Harris that investment and reform must go hand in hand if the cycle of hospital overcrowding is to be addressed.

“The recommendations of the report need to be implemented as a matter of urgency as well as taking into account the Sinn Féin motion passed by the Dáil on tackling the trolley crisis last week.

“I agree with many of the report’s conclusions which are patently clear for all to see – that the acute hospital system is operating above capacity and the primary care system is operating at capacity level.

“Addressing these has to be a priority for any political party that is serious about the health of the people.

“This means that beds have to be opened, new beds have to be built, and a significant recruitment of healthcare and medical staff is necessary.

“In particular, the recommendations on staffing and the recruitment of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare staff need to be carried out as a matter of urgency. But this cannot be done unless the recruitment and retention crisis across all grades in the health service is addressed. 

“These issues are mainly working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, promotion opportunities, and pay. 

"To do this the Government needs to meaningfully engage with workers representative bodies and unions as well as establishing a commission on pay in the health service for medical professionals and healthcare workers as has been recommend by the Dáil.

“While I welcome this report, that is not to say I agree with all of its analyses. The view outlined in the report that “Ireland’s health system does not stand out as significantly out of line with comparator countries…” is one which I would vehemently disagree with.

“I must also state, the recommendations of this report need to be fitted into the framework of the Slaintecare report. We cannot have a situation where we are trying to implement various reports at the same time, we need to ensure they work  in tandem.

“However, disagreements aside, this report is much needed and now we need to see the necessary political will to implement its recommendations."

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