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Ó Caoláin urges public support for INO postcard campaign

10 January, 2006

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has called on the public to support the postcard campaign launched today (Tuesday) by the Irish Nurses Organisation which highlights the worsening situation in hospital Accident and Emergency units. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The Irish Nurses Organisation deserves full public support for its campaign. I urge people to pick up the INO postcards in hospitals and to post them on.

"It is a scandal that despite Minister Harney's much-trumpeted 10-point plan and the Health Service Executive's announcement last week of measures supposed to address the A&E crisis, we have more people on trolleys this winter than last.

"I am especially concerned that A&E overcrowding continues in light of the high incidence of MRSA in Irish hospitals. Last year the Health and Safety Authority highlighted the dangers of overcrowding, including increased risk to patients and staff from infection and injury. Yet the situation has got worse and scenes of trolleys in corridors have spread far outside Dublin. In the North East region (Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath) there were never so many people on trolleys in A&E as there are now. This is directly as a result of the closure of A&E units in Monaghan and Dundalk hospitals.

"The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney needs to hear loud and clear the voice of the public and the demand for immediate redress." ENDS

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