Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin Senator Darragh O’Brien has called on the Minister for Health to immediately establish a comprehensive plan to tackle the state of emergency at Beaumont Hospital.
The North Dublin Senator has warned the Government against relying solely on the expensive quick-fix of outsourcing patients to private health providers to reduce waiting lists.
“Beaumont Hospital has been in a state of emergency for some weeks now. The situation has got so horrendous that the hospital is on the brink of closure to new admissions and management feel they’ve no choice but to outsource patients to private institutions. In some cases, patients will have to be sent abroad to get the care they need within an acceptable timeframe in Ireland. This is extremely worrying,” said Senator O’Brien.
“The alarming surge in hospital waiting lists over the past two years and the deepening crisis at Emergency Departments exposes the Government’s shambolic health policies. The dismantling of the National Treatment Purchase Fund was a huge mistake and has made the situation immeasurably worse. While there may be no option now but to outsource procedures and appointments to private healthcare providers to clear some of the backlog, this does nothing to solve the problem.
“Minister Varadkar may be an expert at PR, but the reality is that he has done absolutely nothing to tackle the complete mess left by his predecessor James Reilly. Standing on the sidelines and commenting from afar about the situation in the health service will achieve nothing for patients. Minister Varadkar needs to roll up his sleeves, get stuck in and start taking decisive action to address the overcrowding crisis at Beaumont and other acute hospitals.
“I am urging the Minister to re-activate the NTPF without delay. I am also proposing that he convene a special taskforce that would ensure that all scheduled day case and in-patient care is delivered within the internationally accepted target of six months.”