February 28, 2022
Sinn Féin announce motion to reduce dangerously long health wait times and give health graduates a job guarantee – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has announced the party will bring forward a motion in the Dáil tomorrow that seeks to make the health service a better place to work and tackle dangerously long wait times for appointments and procedures.

Teachta Cullinane urged cross party for support the motion, which will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow evening.

There are 1.34 million people on some form of health waiting list across hospitals, diagnostics, and primary and community services across the state.

He criticised the Minister for Health’s Waiting List Action Plan as a short-term wish list that will not address the fundamental problems causing long waiting lists.

Teachta Cullinane called on the Government to give health graduates a job guarantee. He said that major workforce deficits need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, including targeted increases in training places. 

He warned that no waiting list plan was credible without a workforce strategy, which would also need to deal with two-tier pay inequality, safe staffing levels, Labour Court recommendations, and breaches of the European Working Time Directive.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Health waiting lists have spiralled out of control under government after government. Patients, workers, and their families bear the costs for dangerously long hospital waiting lists.

“There are now 1.34 million people on waiting lists for community, hospital, and diagnostic services. This is totally unacceptable and ordinary people are paying the price for this government’s failure on health. It is clear that this government will not fix the health crisis.

“Sinn Féin are bringing forward a motion in the Dáil to end the scandal of long health waiting lists. I am urging all TDs to back it and ensure this vital issue is finally addressed.

“The issue of long health waiting lists is well known but despite this, the government has failed time and time again to deliver the change that is so clearly needed. We need to see a step change in investment and workforce planning to fix the health service.

“No waiting list plan is credible without a workforce strategy which deals with two-tier pay, excessive hours, unsafe staffing levels, and outstanding agreements which have not been implemented.

“We need to restore trust with the health service workforce and show the new generation of graduates we want to keep them here.

“Sinn Féin would invest in more training places and give health graduates a job guarantee.

“We would also put in place new structures for good management of the health service which can be held to account for waiting lists.

“This Government does not have the appetite or vision to fix our broken health service. Sinn Féin in government would deliver the change needed to secure a health service that works.

“Our motion sets out how this change can be delivered to make a much-needed difference to the lives of ordinary people.”

The Private Member’s Bill is available to view here

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