Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher was today refused an opportunity to raise the issue of the industrial action being taken by members of the INMO arising from serious overcrowding and patient safety concerns at the Mid-western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

Deputy Kelleher said: “I sought to raise this issue in the Dáil today to hold the Minister for Health and the Government to account for their continued broken promises not to cut frontline services.

“Overcrowding puts patient safety at risk and the Minister for Health James Reilly clearly stated that there would be no reduction in frontline services.  The Government has even sought to question the competence of hospital managers when it comes to budget over-runs.

“It is a poor reflection on the Fine Gael / Labour Government that such an important issue is being denied an opportunity for a national debate in the Dáil.”

“Patient safety is of paramount importance.  Nurses know when patients are at risk in a hospital and when nurses are expressing the kind of concerns they are at the moment in hospitals where overcrowding is very serious, the Minister should listen and act in the best interests of the patient.”