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All options must be on the table for leveraging private hospital capacity - David Cullinane TD

16 January, 2021 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that all options must be on the table to leverage private hospital capacity.

He said that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in the health system and that all options to boost capacity must be explored.

Teachta Cullinane said:

"The government has failed to invest in health and boost capacity since last Spring - and long before.

"We are now eating into emergency capacity, which means the cancellation of all but the most urgent care.

"I called last year for the Minister for Health to put in place a capacity expansion programme using rapid build modular units. This was not done and now patients and healthcare staff are paying the price for the government's failures.

"This has meant that deals with private hospitals are necessary but some are not buying into the national effort.

"We need to leverage 100% of health system capacity to keep as much care going as possible during this crisis.

"The Taoiseach must intervene to ensure there is enough capacity to slow the growth of waiting lists. Care delayed is care denied.

"The Minister for Health should have commissioned an options paper exploring all options for the State to access private health capacity and the mechanisms for achieving this - this now needs to be done urgently.

"We cannot forget that taxpayers subsidises private healthcare. Some cannot now opt to walk away from their responsibilities. This is a health emergency and requires emergency responses.

"Everything that can be done must be done. The health system is in dire straits and in need of new thinking and urgent action."

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