Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has strongly criticised comments by the Minister for Health that doctors and nurses slow down if there are more beds and resources in our hospitals.

“These comments by the Minister are as astonishing as they are offensive. It is clear that the Minister thinks that overcrowding provides the optimum working environment for a hospital.

“The fact that it has been estimated that some 350 people a year may die from ED overcrowding clearly has not featured in the Minister’s thoughts.

“Furthermore what sort of impact will this have on staff morale if the Minister for Health thinks they are a shower of shirkers who will only get the finger out if they are working in a pressure cooker environment?

“It is completely offensive and the Minister should apologise to the hard working staff in our health services.

“Might I also suggest to health staff that on February 26th they respond by voting to ensure the Fine Gael parliamentary party is left with fewer human resources.”