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Report on state of A&E Departments an indictment of Harney’s privatisation agenda – Ó Caoláin

1 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the next Health Minister must reverse the disastrous privatisation plan of Mary Harney. Deputy Ó Caoláin was speaking today as a report for the HSE was published which claimed that at least seven Accident and Emergency Departments are unfit for their purpose. He said this is a direct result of Mary Harney's failure to invest in public healthcare.

He said, "The Emergency Department Taskforce Report published today is an indictment on former Health Minister Mary Harney and her privatisation agenda. Her failure to invest properly in public healthcare has led to the situation outlined today by this report in which it says at least seven of our Accident and Emergency Departments are unfit for their purpose.

"Whoever takes on the position of Health Minister in the incoming Government must reverse Minister Harney's privatisation agenda and invest properly in the public healthcare system. There must be an immediate halt to the disastrous co-location policy and the delivery of the required 3,000 extra hospital beds into the public system. Sinn Féin also wants to see a reversal of the cutbacks in services at local hospitals and the introduction of advanced screening services available locally.

"Access to top quality healthcare should be the right of everybody and not a privilege for those who can afford it." ENDS

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