Harris UHL Review A Joke: Kicking Can Down The Road For Political Expediency

02 May 2019

Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has blasted Minister for Health Simon Harris for commissioning another review into University Hospital Limerick three weeks ahead of the Local and European Elections.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Today I found out through the media that Minister Harris has commissioned another SDU review into the hospital services at University Hospital Limerick with some independent ‘expert’.

“Rather than work with representatives from across the mid-west region, Minister Harris decided that only his party faithful were to know of this review. In the spirit of ‘new politics’, I would have expected Minister Harris to have the courtesy to let other parties and health spokespeople know this review was going ahead.

“There has been well over half a dozen reviews done at this stage into the Mid-West Hospital Group, many of which are gathering dust on a shelf. It is hard not to be cynical about another review announced three weeks out from the local elections.

“It is clear that this announcement is a smoke screen to hide from the real issues that are coming to the fore in University Hospital group.

“We don’t need another report, we need action from Minister Harris, we need him to deliver on bed capacity, improving diagnostics, increasing the number of staff at all levels, they need to widen the scope and pathways of the minor injury unity’s in Ennis and Nenagh,  better utilisation of facilities in Nenagh, Ennis and St.John’s, the ambulance services desperately need to be improved. The list goes on and on.

“The Minister knows well that the Winter Initiative was supposed to focus in on the problems at UHL, so why do we need another report?

“Through the Minister’s failings, the long promised 65 modular unit will not be in place before the next big winter health crisis. The funding for the new 80 bded block has disappeared thanks to Fine Gael mismanagement of public funds.

“We don’t need another beauracratic review to tease out the issues, we know the issues, the doctors and nurses on the ground are all too aware of the issues. We need a Minister who will put in place a plan with real, tangible action points.

“This is just another example of another incompetent and out of touch action by Minister Harris.”

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