Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has questioned the effectiveness of the governments winter plan as 614 patients lay waiting on hospital trolleys today.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“With 614 people being treated on trolleys in our hospitals today, you have to question whether the governments winter plan is working at all.
“The plan and any policy changes by Minister for Health this winter appear to be having no significant effect, because at the same time he is overseeing a recruitment ban in the health service.
“This year has been the worst year for patients on trolleys, and it seems that this winter will see the health service plunged even deeper into crisis.
“Our hospitals are understaffed, and this is affecting not just those trying to get into them, but also those already in hospital. We saw reports last week that children in Crumlin could not get chemotherapy because of staff shortages.
“The recruitment ban in the health service should not have been imposed and the results of it will devastate the health service into the future.
“While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are arguing over an election date, in real life people are left to deal with the consequences of their policies.
“The Minister for Health needs to get directly involved in implementing measures to resolve this crisis and he needs to start with immediately lifting the recruitment ban, reopening closed beds in hospitals, and increasing the availability of home help hours.”