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Health system ‘clearly broken and requires urgent action’ – O’Reilly

13 April, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly criticised the Government for failing to stem the crisis in our Health service after figures released by the INMO showed that March 2017 was the worst March since 2006 for trolley numbers in our hospitals.

The Dublin Fingal TD said:

“The chaotic nature of this Government is getting out of control.

“Mismanagement has led to chaos in the justice system, chaos in transport, chaos in governance; perhaps most stark and most painful is the chaos in our hospitals.

“Waiting lists continue to soar, exhausted staff are leaving in droves, and there is a dangerous lack of capacity in our ambulance services.

“The INMO figures published yesterday show that March 2017 has seen the highest ever figures for that month since 2006, with some 9,459 patients, admitted for in-patient care, finding themselves on trolleys this March. Add to this the over 650,000 people on waiting lists.

“I am a great believer in when something is broken, you stop and you fix it. It is time now for this Government to stop and fix the crisis in our A&Es.

“Reviews don’t work, committees don’t work, kicking the can down the road doesn’t work. Your Winter Initiative hasn’t worked. The National Treatment Purchase Fund will not work in the long term. The people need solutions that work.

“We must increase bed capacity. To do that, we must recruit staff and we do not need a bed capacity review to see that we have a crisis on our hands. We need to increase and staff the number of hospital beds by 500 and increase home help hours by at least 10%. Worryingly, we now see that the Government wants to means test elderly people for home help.

“We need to invest in primary care, community services, and nursing home beds and establish an Emergency Department Taskforce on a permanent basis

“There is a lack of capacity in our health service which is manifesting itself in the figures published by the INMO yesterday. This is not acceptable. 

“The system is clearly broken and requires urgent action.

“Is a Fine Gael leadership contest taking up more of the Government’s attention than the serious issue of escalating trolley numbers?” 

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