Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the opening of 199 temporary hospital beds to tackle the current overcrowding crisis but has said that a permanent solution from government must be forthcoming.
Speaking today Teachta O’Reilly said;
“Nine years ago Fine Gael came to office with a promise to end the scandal of trolleys in our Accident and Emergency departments yet last year was the worst year on record and this year has started out even worse again with yesterday recorded as the worst day in the history of the state for hospital overcrowding with 760 patients on trolleys.
“Looking at the list of the 199 beds to be opened up to deal with the current crisis it’s hard to see that the government are looking past an election date. The beds are very welcome but they will be closed again in March and the government has not come forward with a permanent solution.
“That is not acceptable after nine years in office. Minister Harris has said he is proud of his achievements after three years in the health portfolio showing no respect for patients on trolleys.
“Since Fine Gael came to office in 2011 Sinn Féin has been telling them that the solution to the overcrowding crisis is more capacity and more staff.
“Unfortunately the government is damaging capital projects across the state due to the Children’s Hospital overspend, they have implemented a recruitment ban across the health service, they have consistently failed to properly implement a health service winter plan and they appear to have no interest in implementing Sláintecare.
“Fine Gael has shown that it is not up to the challenges in the health services. They have had nine years to tackle the trolley crisis and it has got worse. It is time for change.”