October 19, 2021
David Cullinane TD visits Laois to discuss future of health service with patients, carers and staff

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has visited Laois for a series of meetings and discussions with patients, staff and union groups about the future of the health service.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“I am delighted to have visited Laois yesterday as part of my tour of the island to hear about experiences of the healthcare system. I want to thank all the groups who took the time to meet with me yesterday and share their thoughts and experiences.

“I visited Midland Regional Hospital, where I met with hospital management to discuss access to care and concerns about capacity. We particularly discussed how Emergency Department attendances are currently high. We discussed the importance of expanding maternity services and ensuring more beds are put in place to meet requirements.

“I met with representatives of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation to hear about their experiences of working on the frontline in Laois. I paid tribute to the extraordinary work that nurses and midwives are doing in very challenging circumstances.

“It is clear that there are many challenges in recruitment and in retaining staff. Burnout is a real challenge for staff, especially as those on the frontline face into a difficult winter. It is clear that we need to train more nurses and increase capacity, to ensure that nurses have the resources necessary to meet these challenges.

“I was grateful to have the opportunity to meet with Beth Wogan from Carers Ireland in Laois yesterday. We discussed the incredibly important role that carers play across the country and the need for this role to be better recognised and better supported. In particular we discussed the considerable difference that the Crisis Fund is making for carers. It is important that this fund needs to be made permanent, with sustainable funding, to ensure that it is deliverable into the future.

“It is clear that change is needed in our health service in order to meet the needs of patients, carers and staff. We need to see targeted investment in key areas in order to secure the capacity needed to bring about these reforms.

“Sinn Féin in government would deliver the change needed to ensure we have a health service that works. In my Alternative Budget for Health last month, I set out my detailed plans showing exactly how these changes can happen, how they can be delivered and how they will be funded.”

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