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Nurses right to have no confidence in Tánaiste - Ó Caoláin

5 May, 2006

Commenting on the vote of no confidence in the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children by the Irish Nurses Organisation at their annual conference in Cavan, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said the nurses were “right to have no confidence in a Minister who has lost the confidence of the public”.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “Nurses provide most of the care in our hospitals and they are best placed to judge on the failure of this Minister and this Government to deliver their commitments to the people for a world class health service. Far from a world class service we have a system in continuing crisis with the Tánaiste’s initiatives, including her so-called 10-point plan for A&E, amounting to no more than public relations exercises. But for the INO’s Trolley Watch initiative we would never have known the full extent of the crisis in A&E this past winter when, on average, 300 patients per day were on trolleys and chairs.

“Here in Counties Cavan and Monaghan we have suffered directly from the flawed health policy of this Government. At one time it was unheard of for people to be lying on trolleys in A&E in Cavan General Hospital. That is now a regular occurrence thanks to the slashing of services, including A&E, at Monaghan General Hospital. Like her predecessors, this Minister has turned a deaf ear to the appeals of patients, nurses, doctors, other health professionals and communities in this region.

“It is very significant and very welcome that the INO has come out strongly against the privatisation of our health services that is being driven by the Tánaiste. The vast majority of people working in the health services want to provide care equitably and efficiently to all who need it, based on need alone and regardless of ability to pay or where they live. But this Government’s privatisation policy is reinforcing the two-tier system.

“The Tánaiste, even at this late hour in the life of the Government, should listen to the nurses and reconsider the dangerous direction in which she is taking our embattled health services.” ENDS

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