Kelly urges Harris to unveil HSE winter initiative

Alan Kelly TD
06 September 2016

The continuing delay by Minister Harris in confirming a detailed plan for the HSE winter initiative is nothing short of unacceptable, according to the Labour Party health spokesperson Alan Kelly.

“We have now reached September with absolutely no confirmation from the HSE of the details of their long-promised winter initiative. Minister Harris has spent weeks talking about the additional funding he has secured for such an initiative, but has utterly failed to follow this through into any meaningful action.

“Just yesterday, the Minister said he would unveil a plan today. But it took Liam Doran taking to the airwaves for it to become clear that would not be the case.

“The number of people on hospital trolleys is continuing to rise under our latest Fine Gael Minister for Health with a 14% increase of those on trolleys in hospital outside of Dublin. The delay in announcement by Minister Harris will only make things worse for patients and staff as we come into difficult winter months.

“In Budget 2017, the Government need to look at increasing the volume of home help and the further introduction of community intervention teams so people can be treated within their communities and aren’t lying on hospital beds waiting to be treated.

“Those who need to use our hospitals deserve to be treated in a timely manner and provided with world class treatment. Overcrowding of our A&Es and long waiting lists are symptoms of a system that requires better organisation and more people.

“Labour is committed to addressing the causes behind these long waiting lists. Weak budgeting, insufficient capacity and staff must be tackled.

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