Dáil debates

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Leaders' Questions


2:15 pm

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I assume every Member will want to congratulate the Workplace Relations Commission, WRC, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, INMO, on coming up with a resolution that has resulted in the deferral of threatened industrial action in our accident and emergency departments, but, unfortunately, a consequence of the late resolution of the problem was that hundreds of patients across the country had their elective procedures deferred and they will join the thousands on waiting lists. This is shoddy to say the least in so far as the union gave considerable notice that it intended taking this industrial action but, unfortunately, it was not until the last minute that compromise was arrived at. The Government parties have a habit of allowing situations to become totally chaotic before they take action.

To add insult to injury, we learned today from The Irish Timesthat a shortfall of €100 million is identifiable in the HSE's service plan for 2016, which will inevitably result in a failure to treat thousands of people in hospitals and a failure to meet the treatment targets set down by the Minister for Health of 15 months for adults and 20 weeks for children. It has to be accepted that the Government has not been honest in its health budgeting over the past five years. It set targets knowing they could not be met. Waiting lists and waiting times have lengthened and overcrowding in accident and emergency departments has gone from crisis to chaos.


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