29/11/2019

'Year Of Shame And Failure' For Fine Gael On Health Service

2019 has been described as a "year of shame and failure" for Fine Gael when it comes to the health service.

Making the criticism, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Deputy Louise O'Reilly highlighted data from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation which shows that 2019 is already "the worst ever recorded year for hospital overcrowding and patients on trolleys".

Deputy O'Reilly said: "2019 has been a year of shame and failure for Fine Gael where it comes to their running of the health service.

"We are not yet into the month of December and 2019 has broken the record for the worst ever year for overcrowding and patients on trolleys.

"Since the beginning of the year until today 108,364 people have gone without a bed in an Irish hospital, breaking the 2018 record high, with a full month left to go in the year.

"Fine Gael have had eight years to address this crisis, but it has only got worse every year they have been in government.

"As with the housing crisis, the government think that their policies are working for the health service but, they are completely failing, and that failure is having a devastating impact on the lives of patients and staff.

"You have to laugh at Fine Gael TDs stepping out into the real world and seeing the situations in Emergency Departments first hand and being ashamed by how bad they are – does it ever occur to them that these scenes are the consequences of their own political actions?"

The situation has been getting worse for the last eight years and no one in Fine Gael has been able to come up with a single solution.

"I keep saying this and so long as there is a trolley crisis I will continue to say it – to tackle the trolley crisis you have to address the issues causing it and focus on addressing them through:

• increasing recruitment and retention of staff

• reopening closed beds

• delivering more step-down facilities

• increasing home help hours

• proper investment in primary and community care."

(MH/JG)

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