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No celebration for Irish Health Service unless Government implement health reform - Louise O'Reilly TD

5 July, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has criticised the government’s inaction on implementing Slaintécare and lamented the lack of a truly free National Health Service.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Today British people are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS; tweets from right across the political, social and economic divide are paying tribute to the British model of universal health care. 

“Meanwhile, Irish people lament the increasingly creaking Irish health system, overburdened with excessive waiting lists, underfunded, and letting down the sick, vulnerable, and elderly.

“The NHS is not perfect. It has been undermined and ravaged by privatisation and cuts. The Tory agenda has been no friend to universal health care, but it is the people’s system and the people defend it - feet on the streets, protests and rallies. Today it is celebrated.

“The Irish health service will never be celebrated unless this Government implement real health reform - not the tinkering at the edges of a broken system, but dismantling the two-tier system and introducing universal health care.

“The Irish people cannot and will not trust this Government to implement health reform. They stand over a shocking resume in health - record numbers on trolleys, crisis waiting list figures and times, and a litany of scandals in diagnosis and care. In 70 years no-one is going to associate Fine Gael with radical health reform or reorienting the health system to a free, fair universal public system.

“One year ago, cross-party consensus produced the Slaintecare report - a 10 year blueprint for health and social care reform. This is our opportunity to make history, but the Government have sat on this, the Taoiseach continues to undermine it, and we have yet to see an implementation plan.

“If we want the Irish people to celebrate the health service then it is up to us to give them something to embrace. Slaintecare has the potential to be that. We must invest in health care, we must invest in our frontline staff and we must invest in infrastructure. 

“Sinn Féin is fully committed to implementing Slaintécare and going further again to ensure we have a health system that is truly free at the point of use and available to everyone based on need, not ability to pay."

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