Stephen Donnelly TD must outline Fianna Fáil's proposals to tackle the trolley and waiting list crisis - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called on Fianna Fáil's new health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly TD to publicly outline his proposals for tackling the trolley and waiting list crises.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The health service has drifted from crisis to crisis over the past number of years with the trolley crisis and the waiting list crisis being two strands of what has become a completely dysfunctional health service. In the past two years, in particular since the formation of this government and the confidence and supply agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the situation has escalated completely.
“Over these past two years Fianna Fáil has continuously complained about the issues affecting the health service and called for change, all the while they have ensured no change can occur because they have voted in favour of failing Fine Gael proposals and supported Budgets which have underinvested in the health service.
“In the two years since the last election Deputy Donnelly’s predecessor as health spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD, failed to outline a single credible policy proposal to deal with the trolley crisis or the waiting list crisis.
“Fianna Fáil seems to think that giving more money to the private sector through increased funding for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) is a credible policy – it is not. Allocating more money to the private sector will not reduce waiting lists; it just gives more money to private interests.
“But Fianna Fáil have always focused on delivering for private interests over the health and wellbeing of the people. They allowed the development of private facilities on public grounds as well as privatising health services when in government.
“When Deputy Donnelly’s party had huge resources available to them when last in government they presided over nearly 140,000 patients on outpatient lists and patients waiting up to 8 years for an appointment. This is in spite of the fact that in the run up to the 2002 election they claimed they’d end hospital waiting lists by 2004.
“It is time for Fianna Fáil to step up to the plate and to stop hiding behind the confidence and supply agreement.
“We know that Sláintecare is a long term plan for the health service and it is great that it has cross party support - but voters need to see what Fianna Fáil would do to address the trolley and waiting list crises in the immediate future.
“However if you go on their past record in government you will see starkly their inability to run the health service, even with huge resources.”