People Before Profit by-election candidate for Dublin Mid-West Kellie Sweeney has said that the revelations of child patient waiting list are shocking and an indictment of the governments performance on health”.
Ms Sweeney who is a qualified nurse said that Simon Harris and his government are letting down children and denying them their futures.
She said that the government must now properly invest in the health service and fill vacant posts, recruit nurses, end the two-tier health system to treat people for their medical need and not the size of their wallets.
She said: “The revelations today that the figures for child hospital waiting lists are totally shocking and an indictment on this governments performance in the area of health. Seeing as the figures have doubled since the last count we can see that the government do not have the ability to resolve the crisis in our health service.
“The IMO said in July, following OECD figures, that Ireland has the lowest number of consultants in the EU. Nurses are leaving these shores due to poor pay, extortionate cost of living and the stressful nature of the under resourced health system which has been neglected by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail governments. We need a massive recruitment drive for nurses with decent pay and conditions to stop the drain of our young nurses abroad.
“We have a serious recruitment issue in this country in keeping healthcare workers due to the crisis is housing. Young nurses and doctors are finding it impossible to find affordable accommodation.
“There is also a serious issue of homeless children presenting to homeless services who have not yet reached developmental millstones. For example, some children living in hotels and emergency accommodation are unable to properly chew or swallow because from the ages of two and three they are having to eat puréed food because their families cannot access cooking facilities.
“The government have miss managed the health system for too long and now are too slow and incapable of making the radical measures to fix the deep problems in the system. What needs to be done is the ending of the two-tier health system by removing the private sector- an idea which has been backed up by a Department of Health review on Sláintecare.”