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Ó Laoghaire challenges Buttimer to debate Sinn Féin’s Universal Healthcare plan

16 December, 2015 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Sinn Féin General Election Candidate for Cork South Central has challenged the Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Jerry Buttimer, to a debate on Sinn Féin's Universal Health Plan.

Speaking following the launch of Sinn Féin's comprehensive Health Policy yesterday, Cllr Ó Laoghaire said that as it stood, Sinn Féin was the only party with a concrete plan for Universal Healthcare.

Cllr Ó Laoghaire said;

"This policy is a serious statement about Sinn Féin's intent for Government, and our desire to deliver. For the first time in the history of the state a political party has put forward a comprehensive, concrete plan to deliver universal health care over the course of two Dáil terms.

"We believe that delivering this in Government would be a landmark in terms of Healthcare in Ireland, and in terms of Public Services. It is based on our firm belief that no one should be disadvantaged due to their income when it comes to their health.

"This Government came to power on the promise of Universal Healthcare, but with both parties offering different models, and ultimately, they are no closer that goal today.

"As Chair of the influential Oireachtas Health Committee, Deputy Buttimer, has to take some of the responsibility for the Government's failure to deliver upon this commitment.

"The Government’s record in health is chaos in our Emergency Departments, elderly patients without dignity on hospital trolleys for days on end, patients waiting years for badly needed medical procedures, and children denied essential treatment.

"Even here in Cork, the numbers on trolleys is mounting up; in October 2014 there were 225 people on trolleys, itself far too high for October 2015 that number was up 319 to 544.

"While not quite saying it, it was quite clear that Minister Varadkar has decided that the idea of Universal Healthcare is going back on the shelf, and that the current Two Tier Healthcare system will remain in place.

"Sinn Féin has the will to deliver where this Government has failed, and I would call on Deputy Buttimer to debate Universal Healthcare with me, to see if the Government is still committed to it, and to stand over his Government's record on Health.

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