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Harney in denial over A&E crisis - Ó Caoláin

15 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described comments by the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children on the Accident and Emergency crisis in our hospitals as “pathetic”. He said the Tánaiste is “in denial” over the crisis which she herself has described as a national emergency.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “The Tánaiste has seized on the leaked Tribal Secta report in an effort to divert attention from the crisis in A&E. Her response is to deny that there is a crisis even though she has called the situation a national emergency. Her comments are pathetic.

“Mary Harney has claimed today that the problem is not one of beds and resources but how they are managed. Does that mean she does not accept the need for the additional 3,000 hospital beds identified in the government’s own Health Strategy as far back as 2001? 

“The A&E crisis requires a multi-faceted approach – including the additional hospital beds needed, better resources for hospitals, better management and more front-line delivery of services by consultants. We have been waiting since at least 2001 for a renegotiated contract for hospital consultants and the Tánaiste and her colleagues in Government have presided over five years of failure in this regard.

“The Tánaiste is in denial over the critical situation in our A&E units. She has lost all credibility on this issue as was made clear to Sinn Féin activists throughout the country last weekend by the many members of the public who supported our Healthcare Campaign Day of Action.” ENDS

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