Minister Fiddling While Health Service Burns

green_neon_crossIn a statement today, People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, slammed the Minister for ignoring his responsibility for the latest scandal in the Health Service. The revelation that the numbers on waiting lists are nearly double what had been previously published and the Minister’s feigned shock, shows his utter lack of interest in the health service.

The Health Crisis is a capacity crisis of a shortage of beds and staff. Minister Harris is sitting on his hands bleating that this is ‘unacceptable’ while promoting market solutions: selling public patients to the private sector through the NTPF and allowing the HSE to create “shadow lists”

There are now over half a million people waiting to be assessed and waiting for treatment by the HSE.

The official HSE list says 81,015 people waiting for inpatient and day-case procedures, but 82,770 patients are on “pre-admit” and “pre-planned” lists, meaning the true figure is 163,785.

Gino Kenny said: “The Minister has many questions to answer on this: Why has he allowed false waiting time figures to be provided for waiting lists for inpatient and day-patient treatment?

“Why is he relying on the NTPF to provide figures for waiting lists when it is the HSE that has the full data?

“Why is he relying on the NTPF to relieve the problem of waiting lists when the NTPF has failed to do so since 2004?

“And, most importantly, why on earth did the HSE refuse the recent offer from the INMO that senior nurses would be authorised to fill vacant posts, including the 50% of posts vacant due to maternity leave.”

Mr Kenny concluded by saying: “The National Treatment Purchase Fund is not the answer though; selling public patients to the private for-profit hospitals is another of Fine Gaels market solutions to a public service deficit that they have created through austerity cuts to beds and staff. We urgently need to put at least 2000 beds and the necessary staff back into our public hospitals.”