Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Hospital Waiting Lists: Motion [Private Members]
I acknowledge Deputy Cullinane for instigating this debate and I thank him for his interest in matters affecting Kerry, as well as the rest of the country. Our university hospital in Tralee is under severe strain at present. I acknowledge the work being done by management and the actual workers, including the people in the accident and emergency department tonight, who I often deal with during the night and at different hours over the weekend. They really do their best under an awful lot of pressure. Why, for heaven's sake, is our hospital being run into the ground? Why are we playing second fiddle to Cork? Cork University Hospital is a great hospital. We are very grateful and thankful that the hospital, a centre of excellence, is there, as is Bantry General Hospital. However, why is our hospital, the university hospital in Tralee, being run into the ground, because it is? There is a never-ending list of people who are suffering and waiting to have hip, knee, back or general surgery. There are even people waiting for orthodontic treatment. The health service is in shambles and the Ministers are at the helm. Will they please stop the mismanagement? I compliment the people in our community hospitals, both management and the general staff of the hospitals, whether in Kenmare, Cahersiveen, Killarney, Listowel or Tralee. I also compliment the people who work in our ambulance service, who are also under unreal pressure. The centralisation of the ambulance service in Dublin definitely led to the downgrading of the service delivered and its speed as a result of different mistakes and things that happened, which are no fault of the people who actually work in the service. Again, it is a question of management. Billions of euro are being put into health but it is not directed or managed properly. I will not stand over University Hospital Kerry in Tralee being downgraded, which seems to be what has been happening over recent years and the past ten years in particular. It is not right and I will not stand idly by and let it happen.