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Investment in nursing central to addressing problems that confront the health services

2 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann Assembly election candidate John O'Dowd has said that investment in nursing is the key to addressing many of the problems that confront the health and social services.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Sinn Féin believes that, in order to ensure public accountability, the Strategic management of the health service should include not only service management but also directly elected political, service user, and advocacy representation, and staff representation elected by health service workers.

Sinn Féin has resolved to create a democratically accountable health service that is responsive to the diverse health needs of the population as a whole, and that is flexible enough to provide the highest quality care appropriate to the needs of each individual.

"Our policy document "Health in an Ireland of Equals" launched in 2006 follows on from our earlier health strategy discussion paper, Health for All (2001) and the Six County health strategy developed under the leadership of Sinn Féin Minister for Health Bairbre de Brún, Investing for Health (2002). It is a renewed call to action for equality in health and in healthcare.

"We recognise that the realisation of this vision requires a genuine partnership and shared ownership with health service workers and service users to enact real change.

"Sinn Féin is firmly of the view that those who work in the health service have the right to safe and fair conditions of employment, the right to form and join trade unions and to negotiate contracts, the right to picket and to take such industrial action as will not pose a threat to public health and safety. In government, Sinn Féin commits to:

  • Increased health funding from the British Government in fulfilment of their obligation to the people of Ireland in a period of conflict resolution and political transition.
  • Investment in structural and management reorganisation and full implementation of the previously agreed health strategy Investing for Health.
  • All-Ireland co-operation and progressive integration of health services, to maximise health resources on the island as a whole.
  • To reverse the privatisation of the health services and ancillary services, and to end private provision of essential care.

"Sinn Féin meets with health sector representative bodies on a regular basis, and is supportive of their position to ensure that health workers receive proper and full recompense for their workload.

"Along with the RCN, we believe that investment in nursing is the key to addressing many of the problems that confront the health and social services." ENDS

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