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Limerick Sinn Féin hold protest against gifting of public land for private hospitals

9 August, 2006

Limerick Sinn Féin General Election Candidate Maurice Quinlivan this evening led a local party protest against the gifting of public land for the proposed new Private Hospital to be built on the grounds of Midwestern Regional Hospital.


Speaking at the protest Quinlivan said: “The people of Limerick deserve real investment in our public sector hospitals, not the gifting of taxpayer’s money, our money, to build private facilities on public land. The development of this private hospital will only reinforce the two-tier nature of our health service. It will also encourage more doctors and nurses to leave the Midwestern Regional Hospital here in Limerick at the very time that we should be taking concrete steps to improve their conditions of work in our public health service”


Limerick Midwestern Regional Hospital urgently needs significant additional investment to upgrade services and facilities in Accident and Emergency, alongside increased additional bed capacity. Unfortunately this government, who have had ten years to sort out the problems in our health service, have chosen instead to gift money to their friends in private sector property development”


"Sinn Féin is calling for public land and public finances to be used in the public system only. Across the globe health policy researchers and economists believe investment in the public health sector is the way to deliver quality health services.


“Minister Harney's alternative is to use millions of taxpayers' money to enrich wealthy investors, increase inequality in access to healthcare and undermine the public sector. Over 50 firms have applied to the Health Service Executive to develop private hospitals on public hospital grounds. Investors are literally queuing up to take advantage of the Minister's generosity at our expense. Already private hospital developers enjoy massive tax breaks and now they are being given a land bonanza.”


The local protest is part of a nationwide day of action by Sinn Fein.

"Protests have taken place at the 11 sites identified by the HSE for new private hospitals on public land. The initiative is part of Sinn Féin's statewide health campaign, following the launch of the party's policy document, Health in an Ireland of Equals” Quinlivan concluded.

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