Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said that a mixture of inaction and the wrong policies by Fine Gael is destroying the public health service.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The year started off with the Minister for Health appearing in the media every single time there was a drop in the number of patients on trolleys. At the time I said the figures were being massaged, as the government were paying huge sums of money to move patients into private hospitals to lower the number of patients on trolleys.
“That money should have been spent re-opening all the beds in the public system which were closed during the austerity years. This would not eliminate all patients on trolleys, but it would have allowed for around 500 additional beds to be operational.
“Throughout the year the situation has just gone from bad to worse to deplorable – the same as Fine Gael’s tenure in government.
“Today the INMO released the trolley watch data revealing that 10,641 patients went without a bed in hospitals in September – the worst month of 2019 so far. This is simply astonishing for a month outside winter.
“What’s more is, the September figure for overcrowding is the worst for any September since records began, with the INMO pointing out that this is double the number of people on trolleys ten years ago.
“We didn’t end up in this situation today or yesterday. This government has had eight years to solve this and many other crises in the health service, but instead, they’ve actually made things worse through a mix of inaction and the wrong policies.
“Past performance is an indicator of future success, and the past performance of Fine Gael shows only more failures for the health service in the future. They are a party of bluffers and charlatans and the health service will only get worse so long as they are in control of it.”