Fianna Fáil Vice President Timmy Dooley says it’s difficult to take Minister Leo Varadkar’s lectures on health seriously given the state of chaos in Emergency Departments across the country.
Deputy Dooley said, “Minister Varadkar’s failure to provide what is necessary to ease Emergency Department overcrowding is yet another example of the spin before substance approach to dealing with our health system. It’s a fundamental characteristic of the way this Government has dealt with health policy over the past five years.
“Minister Varadkar promised a hundred new beds to ease the crisis. However these still have not been delivered. He says he can’t get the staff, but why did he make the promise if he couldn’t deliver on it?
“On top of this Minister Varadkar approved a HSE Service Plan for 2016 that has a €100 million funding shortfall for hospitals. He also rejected the HSE request in its Budget submission for more critical care beds.
“The truth is that the situation in our Emergency Department’s is just as bad, if not worse, as it was this time last year.
“The consequences of this will be felt throughout the year as scheduled operations are cancelled. The Minister set himself easier waiting list targets which he still managed to miss. Things are not likely to improve soon. However this doesn’t seem to have stopped Minister Varadkar from pontificating on healthcare this weekend and telling us how great a job he is doing,” concluded Deputy Dooley.