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Senator Rose Conway-Walsh calls on government to stop charging people left on Trolleys

21 March, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

The practice of charging the €80 Government Levy to people who are left on trolleys without Medical Cards or Medical Insurance, must stop according to Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.  

Speaking in the Seanad on Wednesday, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

"I believe it is totally unjust to charge people this levy whether they have a bed or a trolley.  Almost 100,000 people spent nights on trolleys last year.

"Many of these had to pay this government levy just to stay on trolleys in overcrowded and draughty corridors.  

"It is not acceptable that they are on trolleys in the first place and it is doubly insulting to then ask those without medical cards or insurance to pay a levy of €80 to the same government that is failing them so badly.

"This Week’s Social Justice Ireland Report once again exposes the reality of systemic poverty which is hidden behind the flashing lights, spinning headlines and fancy presentations. 

"These tactics have been used to mask the inequalities and struggles of 780,000 or 16.5% of Ireland’s Population living below the poverty line.

We continue to see that having a job does not equate to coming out of poverty.  Very many people who are employed do not qualify for a medical card are struggling just to make ends meet.  

"These are the families who have to deliberate over whether their child is sick enough to warrant the €50 to take them to the GP.  

"These are the individuals who have to pay €100 Emergency charge if they have to present at an A&E and have to pay the high cost of prescriptions.

"Many of these same people struggle to find the rent, the mortgage payments, the school transport charges and other household bills.  

"We also see that the poverty rates in Rural Areas are increased by higher costs including travel costs and low income employment.

"Government policies that protect the extreme wealthy while draining every last cent from those on low incomes have to be stopped.  

"Resources used to provide tax breaks for the wealthy need to be redirected to ease the burden on those who need it most."

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