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"Harney and HSE presiding over hospital chaos" - Ó Caoláin

31 January, 2007

Health Minister Mary Harney and the Health Service Executive are “presiding over chaos in our hospitals,” according to Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD. He was responding to the news that St. James’s Hospital in Dublin has cancelled urgent operations because of a shortage of intensive care beds.


The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: “As the Dáil returns for its spring session Health Minister Mary Harney and the HSE are presiding over chaos in our hospitals. The collective failure of this Government and the HSE is breathtaking. We now have emergency surgery in St. James’ and other hospitals being cancelled due to a lack of intensive care beds. The most critical life-saving services for patients are being undermined because of the failure of the Government to deliver the additional hospital beds required.


“Government management of our health services is being exposed yet again as a shambles. The number of patients on trolleys and chairs in Accident and Emergency units has reached 339 on one day already in 2007. When the Task Force report on A&E was published the Health Service Executive claimed a major improvement but then admitted they only begin counting the waiting time for a patient in A&E from when a consultant decides to admit them as in-patients. No account is taken of the time - often many hours - spent waiting to be seen by a consultant. The Government’s cancer strategy is in disarray. The Fianna Fáil/PD obsession with public-private partnerships means that delivery of vital radiotherapy services is being delayed. The talks on a new consultants’ contract are deadlocked.


“These are just some of the health failures for which the FF/PD Government is responsible and which have been highlighted in the first month of 2007. Above all they have failed to fulfil their mandate and their responsibility to provide health services and have now run out of steam. They should call a General Election and let the people make their judgment.”



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