Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD today launched a €914m package of proposals to boost spending on the health service. The funding will drastically shorten waiting lists and ensure the system is prepared to meet the demands of catch-up care post-Covid.
Teachta Cullinane said this is needed “in the face of a tsunami of delayed and missed care which is barrelling down on the health service” and that the current system “is at crisis point and not fit for purpose”.
Speaking today as he launched ‘Tackling Hospital Waiting Lists’, Teachta Cullinane said:
“More than 850,000 people are currently on a HSE waiting list. There are more patients waiting than ever before and public patients are waiting longer than ever to receive care.
“On top of this our healthcare system is under huge pressure due to a massive backlog of missed care during the pandemic, capacity constraints due to Covid-19 and the implications of the cyberattack.
“The health service is at crisis point and it is not fit for purpose. Action is needed now.
“Today I am proud to be launching a fully costed €914m package, including one-off capital investment of €568m, to turn the tide in favour of patients and healthcare workers. Sinn Féin’s plan is detailed, fully-costed and deliverable. It contains the investment needed to end the scandal of waiting lists and ensure patients get the timely healthcare they need.
“My plan includes 600 more beds above the Government’s current plans, filling more than 600 consultant posts and hiring 4,000 additional hospital staff, and 430 critical care beds by 2025.
“This also includes €150m for theatre capacity expansion and equipment to deliver more treatment in public hospitals, and a fund of €100m for equipment upgrades and patient management and waiting list system modernisation.
“Everywhere we look in the health service, from waiting lists to Covid-19 to the cyberattack, there is a fire to be put out and an emergency to be tackled. It is limping from crisis to crisis, which only fails patients and staff.
“We need an urgent plan to catch up on missed care, reduce waiting lists, and deliver a top class, universal public health service.
“We need a fresh start with a system which is fair for workers and ensures patients get the modern healthcare they need.
“Above all else, we need a political class, a Government, and a Minister for Health with the will to tackle waiting lists.
“Sinn Féin in government would deliver on this important issue.”