April 15, 2024
Simon Harris and Stephen Donnelly have held back cancer services for eight years – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said that the government must immediately revise the health budget for 2024 to provide the funding needed to deliver the National Cancer Strategy.

Deputy Cullinane was speaking as he announced Sinn Féin would bring forward a motion on cancer services this week, which will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday evening.

He added that, over the past eight years as Ministers for Health, Simon Harris and Stephen Donnelly had presided over a scandal of expensive life-saving equipment lying idle due to staff shortages, cancer surgeries being cancelled because of hospital overcrowding and cancer services being consistently underfunded.

Teachta Cullinane said:

”We need a Minister for Health that will stand up for patients – for cancer patients, for children with scoliosis, and for those who need A&E services.

”Between them, Simon Harris and Stephen Donnelly have had eight years as Minister for Health during which time they have held cancer services back.

”They have presided over a scandal of expensive life-saving equipment lying idle due to staff shortages, cancer surgeries being cancelled because of hospital overcrowding and cancer services being underfunded.

”The government has failed to properly fund the national cancer strategy in five of the last seven years, including every single year that Simon Harris was Minister for Health.

”Patients and families deserve so much better, and that is why Sinn Féin is this week bringing forward a motion to fix the government’s failure to deliver cancer services.

”We are calling on the government to end the recruitment embargo and implement a deliverable workforce plan for the health service.

”They must train more radiation therapists and hire the staff needed to utilise all radiotherapy equipment, fund the 1500 beds needed to deal with overcrowding and avoid hospital cancellations, and properly fund the cancer strategy on a multi-annual basis to drive improvements in cancer detection and survival rates.

”After 13 years of Varadkar, Harris and Donnelly as health Ministers we desperately need a change of direction. Our health services can be fixed, and Sinn Féin has a plan to deliver.

”It’s time for new ideas and new leadership in health. We need a general election and a change of government.”


Sinn Féin’s PMB can be read here.

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