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Trolley crisis will only get worse under Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil government - O'Reilly

2 January, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

The Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Louise O'Reilly, has said that the trolley crisis will only get worse under the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil confidence and supply deal.

O'Reilly echoed the sentiments of the INMO which stated that despite government spin, figures of those on trolleys are getting worse year on year with 2018 the worst year on record for hospital overcrowding

O'Reilly called for a radical change in government health policy.

She said:

"In their extension of the supply and confidence deal, Fianna Fáil have gifted Fine Gael a blank cheque for a continuation of more failed policies with regard to the health service. Despite the obvious lack of commitment to Slaintecare Fianna Fáil were happy to sign off on another year of this continuing crisis.

"2018 has been the worst year on record for hospital overcrowding and this will only get worse in 2019. In 2018 108,227 people were left without a bed in hospital - that was a 9% increase on 2017.

"Instead of fixing this problem, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spent the last months of the year trying to place the blame for the trolley crisis on healthcare workers.

"Today the Minister for Health has tried to put a positive spin on the story. The reality is no amount of government spin can mask what the figures make clear - our health service is in crisis. At its core is the abject failure to address the core issues of recruitment and retention of staff.

"What is needed is radical change in policy and meaningful engagement with frontline staff. Failure to do this will mean more suffering and even more people on trolleys and chairs in 2019."

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