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Harney should resign in shame over health crisis - Ó Caoláin

27 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called on Health Minister Mary Harney to "resign in shame." Deputy Ó Caoláin mad his call after a survey revealed Ireland's health system is one of the worst in Europe.

"The results of the European think-tank, Health Consumer Powerhouse survey placed Ireland 25th out of 26 European countries examined for the quality of their health services. I don't find this surprising at all given the policies pursued by the current Minister for Health and her predecessors in this Government.

"Minister Harney has continually pumped tax-payers money into the private Health system to the detriment of the public system. Her infatuation with a private health system and the distribution of healthcare based solely on the ability to pay has meant the public health system has suffered immensely. She has had absolutely no positive impact on the crisis in our hospitals and has failed as a Minister for Health.

"This has caused real hardship for both the staff and patients in our hospitals with many people languishing on hospital trolleys for days on end and in my own constituency of Cavan/Monaghan we have had unnecessary deaths. Despite all this the Minister shows no signs that she intends to change her policies and I believe she should resign in shame and I am now calling on her to do so." ENDS

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