Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has condemned the treatment of our older citizens within the country’s hospital network, describing the ongoing situation as a national disgrace.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “No one could have failed to be moved listening to Gerry Feeney’s niece describe how her elderly uncle was treated in Beaumont hospital.  Mr Feeney did not die because of any technical medical misdiagnosis.  He died because he did not receive even the most basic care to allow him to maintain his dignity while he was in one of our biggest acute hospitals.  This is a national disgrace and should be confronted as such.

“None of us want our older relatives to be neglected in this way.  No older citizen should face these indignities.

“As a starting point there should be a review of staffing levels in the elderly wards of our hospitals to ensure that patients receive basic human care and they are not allowed to go through what Mr Feeney had to go through in the last weeks of his long and active life”.

Deputy Kelleher concluded, “The basic question facing public representatives is whether we believe that as a society we should be investing sufficient resources in our health system.  This government has clearly decided not to do so. Instead of consistently commentating on the health service and theorising on future funding models, Minister Leo Varadkar needs to get back to basics, get a grip on the situation in our hospitals and prioritise services to patients particularly our elderly”.