-Sticky plaster proposals offer only short term respite-

Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary, Jackie Cahill is calling for long-term capital investment in Tipperary’s health infrastructure following a meeting with the Minister for Health Simon Harris last week.

“I told the Minister that while any short term proposals are welcome, the situation will not improve unless long-term capital investment is committed to by the Government.”

“It’s now the end of the summer. The overcrowding that we saw last winter cannot be let happen again. We need extra capacity across the health system, and we must look at options that can be made operational before the winter backlog kicks in again,” added Cahill.

“We have a facility in Cashel, Our Lady’s that received considerable investment in recent years, and is lying idle with the doors locked. It makes no sense for us to keep this facility closed as winter approaches.”

“Surely, beds in the South Tipperary General Hospital can be freed up almost immediately by transferring non-acute patients to Our Lady’s in Cashel, ensuring that those with a need for acute, and sub-acute care, can be looked after by the excellent staff in the General Hospital,” said the recently elected TD.

“Let’s stop sticking plasters over the cracks in our health service, and let’s invest for the long term – our people will thank us for it,” added Cahill.

“There are no guarantees that some of the recent proposals will work. A back up plan is needed, and re-opening Our Lady’s with increased resourcing, investment and technical support is a quick win for the people of South Tipperary,” concluded Cahill.

“I am concerned that some of the basics of the Patient Hotel proposal haven’t been agreed yet. Are we confident that it will meet HIQA standards, or will the structures require planning permission?

“Equally, I am uneasy that the HSE is farming out health care provision, in a sub-acute setting, to private companies. Fianna Fáil is unequivocal in its support for a public health system,” concluded Cahill.