Sinn Féin Slams Govt Health Policy

The government's health policy has been described as a "shambles" by Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams.

Mr Adams said that the policy was an "abject failure", and that the Minister for Health has admitted the government's Universal Health Insurance scheme "will not work".

Speaking in Leaders Teachta Adams said: "The government's health policy is a shambles. It has not delivered on any of the promises it made during the last election.

"It's notorious five point plan promised a completely new health system. It promised to eliminate long waiting lists, end the two tier health system, end trolley waits and bring in a universal health insurance scheme - Fair Care.

"The government promised a modern, fair and accessible health service but has failed miserably to provide it. Two years ago the then Minister James Reilly said; 'We will never again see 569 people on trolleys on a single day while this Government is in office'.

"On Monday there were 42 patients on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes – the highest trolley numbers of any hospital in the state. Last month there were records levels of patients – many of them senior citizens – on trolleys. It was the worst October since records began.

"It also promised free GP care for all, an end to prescription charges, and the abolition of the HSE. None of this has happened or is going to happen.

"The fact is that this government is responsible for a health service in complete chaos.

"Citizens lying on hospital trolleys don't need "a vision", they need a solution. The Minister asserts that Universal Health Insurance remains the Government's preferred model. This is clearly because of Fine Gael's ideological position which favours the interests of private health insurance companies over the interests of patients and their families. This is a for profit position.

"The Health Minister insists that he is merely shelving this proposition. But then admits that it won't happen in the next term but might just happen in the term after that. So citizens will have had to wait over a decade for Fine Gael and Labour's vision to become a reality – if indeed it does.

"Fine Gael's five point plan was actually a five point sham, and the truth is that the government has no plan, no solutions and now it doesn't even have the pretence of a policy on Health.

"The government has failed and failed completely on this crucial policy matter. It should resign.

"Sinn Féin believes that Universal Healthcare based on health needs, not on wealth, paid for by direct taxation and free at the point of delivery is the only fair and viable model to deliver the rights of citizens to a public, a truly public health service."


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