Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has called on the Minister for Health James Reilly to immediately intervene in the junior doctors’ dispute to prevent a further escalation that could put patients at risk.
Deputy Kelleher has said it’s unacceptable that thousands of patients are being disrupted today because of the failure to resolve the row before now.
“This row has been rumbling on for some time now and it should not have been allowed to escalate this far. Minister Reilly has refused to take the dispute and the concerns of junior doctors seriously enough. His failure to take decisive action before now has contributed to thousands patients being disrupted today,” said Deputy Kelleher.
“I am calling on Minister Reilly to intervene immediately before this escalates further. The threat of further industrial action by IMO members next week is a cause of serious concern. The longer this is allowed to go on, the greater the risk to patients. My fear is that what is now disruption will turn into an emergency, as hospitals struggle to cope with the loss of junior doctors.
“I will be raising this matter in the Dáil this afternoon during Topical Issues debates. Minister Reilly needs to bring both sides to the negotiation table without further delay to ensure that an agreement can be reached that is first and foremost in the interests of patient safety. He has already said the gap is very narrow. The hospital network is already under significant strain due to cutbacks and staff shortages – it simply cannot cope with ongoing industrial action by key frontline medical staff.”