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Government must implement Quality Standards for End-of-Life Care in Hospitals – Doherty

29 September, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking in the Seanad this evening Sinn Féin Senator said Pearse Doherty supported a motion which called for supports for older people who are coming to the end of their lives.

Senator Doherty said:

“It is one of the great scandals of our health and social services that far too little has been done to provide support for older people in particular to live and to die at home, if that is their wish, instead of in nursing homes and hospitals. And now we find that the improvements that have been made are being cut back.

“The measures proposed in this motion are things that should have been done over the past decade when the Government was boasting about the health of the public finances. We know now how they squandered those finances and created the economic crisis. And it is the old, the infirm, the sick, the disadvantaged and the marginalised that are paying for the crisis, not the people who caused it. It’s a false economy because their savage cuts are taking billions out of the economy and depressing it further.

“The Government has operated the same type of false economy with regard to healthcare and social services.

“Rather than provide the supports for terminally ill people to remain at home, in the community or in hospice care, Government neglect means that their lives end in acute hospital wards – often crowded wards. This is distressing for them and for their families. It lacks the dignity and comfort which could be theirs in more appropriate settings, and, if we want to look at it in purely economic terms, it is far less cost-effective in the long term.

“The Government should accept this motion and implement the Quality Standards for End-of-Life Care in Hospitals.” ENDS

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