April 7, 2020
Key matters raised with government on COVID19 need to be answered – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that key matters regarding COVID19 which have been raised with the government on behalf of frontline healthcare workers, and the general public, cannot continue to go unanswered.

 Teachta O’Reilly said:

 “For a number of weeks now I and many other politicians have been asking the government and the HSE for updates on key matters regarding Covid-19 which have been raised on behalf of frontline healthcare workers and the general public.

 “Since mid-March I have been raising the matter of childcare for frontline healthcare workers and pushing for the government to put a plan in place to address the matter. To date not only has no plan been put in place, but an update has not even been forthcoming.

 “A solution for the childcare of healthcare and frontline workers needs to be put in place by the government as quickly as possible as all indications are the number of Covid-19 cases will significantly increase over the coming days and weeks and health workers will be needed more than ever.

 “Similarly, for many weeks now I have been raising the need for a reliable, domestic production line for Personnel Protective Equipment and Covid-19 testing kits.

 “The need for domestic production of PPE is more acute than ever given the current difficulties in procuring equipment on the international market.

“I am sure there are manufacturing companies out there who could refocus their production lines to deliver PPE.

“These are matters which have been raised by many, many politicians and parties with the government and yet neither answers nor solutions have been forthcoming.

“The normal avenues of obtaining information and answers about the operations of government and the various Departments are not available. Instead, we are left relying on the good will of Ministers and their Departments. This situation has left TDs effectively powerless.

“The caretaker Taoiseach has brought in a new communications ‘guru’ to oversee the Covid19 crisis communication, but it does not seem to have improved communication with elected representatives. This was evident last week in the Dáil when TDs sought answers from government representatives and were left frustrated by the lack of response.

“The failure of the government to follow up on the most basic of questions is a serious problem and one they have to address as a matter of urgency.”

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