Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has called on the Oireachtas Health Committee to urgently make time available to hear from the Chief Executives of the four hospitals that have written to the Health Minister warning about the effects of further budget cuts.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “The intervention by the Chief Executives of four of the country’s largest hospitals is a cause for very serious concern.  By effectively warning about the ability of their hospitals to maintain patient safety, they have sounded a sinister alarm about the real state of our health services under James Reilly’s leadership.

“My party and I have been making the case for the last two years that Minister Reilly is not fit for purpose.  The confirmation by the management of four critically important hospitals that his decisions are now threatening basic safety and services is quite extraordinary and we need to hear in full the exact nature of the threat and what is needed to mitigate it.

“For that reason, I have written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee this morning and asked him to invite these four individuals to come to an emergency meeting of the Committee at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Now that these four hospitals have made public concerns that have been expressed privately by health professionals all over the country in recent months, policy makers have a duty to respond quickly and effectively.  I expect a positive response from the Committee and I look forward to hearing from these individuals as soon as possible.”