October 1, 2020
Winter wish list will not avert a winter crisis – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has criticised the Minister for Health’s Winter Plan as a wish list which will fail to avert a winter crisis in the health service.

Sinn Féin published an ambitious plan for protecting Ireland’s health in early August and the government’s plan represents too little, too late.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“We are facing a very difficult winter. The onset of Covid-19 has been tragic in many ways for our health service; not least the impact it has had on non-Covid care.

“We need to get the balance right between protecting capacity in our health service, delivering Covid-19 related care, delivering non-Covid care and catching up on missed care. The winter wish list fails to achieve this.

“Sinn Féin produced an ambitious plan – Protecting Ireland’s Health – which set out an ambitious strategy for protecting and adding to capacity in our health service. The Winter Plan pales in comparison and will not deliver anything of note this year.

“Waiting lists are likely to top 900,000 in the coming months.

“What we needed was a serious plan to inject long-term capacity into the system.

“This is a temporary plan which delivers too little, too late and most of the funding will be delivered towards the end of winter.

“It will not deliver the beds needed and the beds that will be delivered won’t be permanent.

“Our plan was to build modular units in the summer and the lead up to winter so that beds could be in place before the winter surge. The Minister failed to take our advice and the health service will be worse off for it.

“It will not deliver the catch-up care that is needed in respect of cancer, scoliosis, orthodontic and dental services, and stroke rehabilitation. It goes nowhere far enough for people with disabilities, or in the area of mental health.

“The reality is that, under the Minister’s plan, there will be no opportunity to catch-up.”

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