Real leadership needed to combat overcrowding crisis

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has described the record numbers of people waiting to be admitted into hospital as calamitous yet entirely predictable. Deputy Smith said: “It is genuinely hard to believe overcrowding is worse now than during the once in a lifetime pandemic. However, here we are, with frontline health services in crisis all…

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Forced closure of Mater Long Covid Clinic will deprive northside communities of a vital service

Speaking in response to the forced closure of the Mater Hospital’s Long Covid Clinic, Senator Marie Sherlock has sharply criticised the HSE’s decision to disadvantage Long Covid sufferers living on the northside of Dublin. Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Sherlock said: “The closure of the Long Covid Clinic at the Mater Hospital will deprive communities…

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Shocking shootings cannot be just another statistic

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has today (Tuesday 6th December) expressed his horror at the shootings in Dublin last night and reiterated his calls for a cast iron date for a Citizens Assembly on Drugs to be held. Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: “This is yet another shocking shooting on the streets of our capital…

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Delayed move on curbing gambling industry welcome

Regulator must move to end scourge of gambling ads Labour sports spokesperson Mark Wall said an overhaul of Irish gambling laws is well overdue. Welcoming Minister Browne’s decision to finally bring the gambling regulation bill to cabinet today, Senator Wall said government has dragged its heels on tackling the gambling industry, despite it impacting almost…

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Proper long-Covid supports needed for workers and communities

Labour health and disability spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Wednesday, 9th November) demanded real action from the Government to make sure people with long Covid don’t face discrimination, cuts in pay and that specialised long-Covid clinics are set up in communities across the country. Speaking on a Dail motion on long-Covid, Deputy Smith said: “The…

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Government must guarantee timeline for engagement with section 39 and community sector workers

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said today (12th October) demanded that the government must put in place an immediate timeline and guarantee a process for engagement with workers in the community and voluntary sector. The call comes following the government waving through Labour motion calling for pay rises for community and voluntary sector workers Deputy…

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People are demanding change – care workers need a pay rise

• Dáil will debate Labour motion demanding pay rise for Section 39 care workers on Wednesday Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said rather than a grant bridging the gap for people, as proposed by the Tánaiste last week in response to questioning by Labour leader Ivana Bacik, Section 39 workers must be put on the…

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Properly resourced public mental health service key to ending the stigma

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Monday, 10th October) on World Mental Health Day urged the government to take a lead in ending the stigma surrounding mental health by introducing a Mental Health funding grant of €20 per pupil in schools, and to adequately resource Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) once and…

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Ludicrous that pandemic payment is still outstanding for tens of thousands of health workers says Smith

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Wednesday, 28th September) called on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to urgently intervene over the non-payment of the pandemic recognition payment due to tens of thousands of health workers. Deputy Smith said: “36 weeks after it was announced to much fanfare by the Government, the fact that…

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More lives will be lost without injection centres

Labour TD for Dublin Bay North, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said today (Monday, 29th August) said the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan must now immediately intervene to deliver mobile injection centres and said that the failure by Government to deliver injection centres is costing people…

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Failure of Department of Health to pay Covid bonus is beyond insulting

Labour health and disability spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Friday, 22nd July) said that the Department of Health must emerge from the shadows, take responsibility and pay tens of thousands of frontline health workers still waiting on a pandemic recognition payment. Deputy Smith said: “The fact that the Department of Health has not paid the…

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Removal of all hospitals charges must be in Budget 2023

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today said that the removal of all in-patient hospital changes must be included in Budget 2023. Speaking on the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, Deputy Smith said:   “Any measures that will reduce the cost of healthcare is to be broadly welcomed. However, we believe the abolition of in-patient charges…

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Government must prevent ‘summer of discontent’ across community sector

The Government should immediately engage with trade unions representing workers in the care and community sector following the announcement of industrial action across the sector, beginning next month, according to Labour spokesperson on health and disability, Duncan Smith. “At the weekend SIPTU members in the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) announced that they would conduct a…

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Minister must intervene to settle Covid test centre swabbers pay dispute

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Thursday, 23rd June) challenged the Minister for Health, Simon Donnelly to step up and resolve an escalating dispute between SIPTU and public health service management over a review of pay rates for Covid test centre swabbers. Deputy Smith said: “It is utterly unacceptable that the HSE and Department…

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Bitter pill of public sector pay restoration for the highest paid means public sector talks must restart now

Commenting on the public sector pay restoration, Labour employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock has today (Wednesday, 22nd June) said Government must urgently re-start public sector pay talks and put adequate pay increases proposals on the table for low and middle paid public sector workers. Senator Sherlock said: “Public sector unions have rightly said they will not…

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HPV catch-up programme should be more broadly available

With the HPV vaccine now due to be made available to women up to age 25, Labour Health spokesperson Duncan Smith TD has said the Minister should ask NIAC to assess if it should be made available for women up to the age of 45. Deputy Smith said: “The HPV catch-up vaccine programme should be…

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Pandemic payment must be paid to all health staff

Labour’s health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Wednesday, 16th March) written to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to demand his immediate intervention to resolve a potential dispute between health care workers, union representatives and health service employers. Deputy Smith said: “What was a good news story for health care workers is now becoming incredibly…

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Government must work with workers to deliver solutions to hospital overcrowding

Following a discussion today (Wednesday, 9th March) at the Joint Oireachtas Health Committee on hospital overcrowding, Labour Senator and Health Committee member Annie Hoey said real investment is needed in healthcare workers. Senator Hoey said: “The government has failed workers in the health service for too long. All witnesses at today’s Oireachtas committee gave compelling…

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Labour loses confidence in Government to deliver Citizens’ Assembly on drugs

Labour TD for Dublin Bay North Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has today (Monday, 21st February) sharply criticised the Government for refusing to commit to a Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs until at least next year. Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: “Less than two short weeks ago (Wednesday, 9th February) I asked the Taoiseach if there were any concrete…

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Extraordinary questions must be answers by Minister Donnelly urgently

Labour’s health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Sunday, 13th February) written to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to demand answers to extraordinary questions of governance, recruitment and accountability raised by a leaked audio recording of a Department of Health meeting. Deputy Smith said: “The leaked recording of an internal Department of Health meeting reported…

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Ivana Bacik TD

State must cover cost of antigen tests and medical grade masks

Labour Party Spokesperson for Health, Duncan Smith has today insisted that the State cover the cost of antigen tests and FFP2/medical grade masks for all households. Deputy Smith said: “Antigen tests and FFP2/medical grade masks must be a central pillar in our collective response to combat Covid throughout 2022. We need the State to step…

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Abortion review fudge – Extraordinary that Tánaiste and Minister for Health unable or unwilling to answer

Under questioning from Labour leader Alan Kelly, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar was unable to provide a clear answer on the repeal review. With the Tánaiste unclear as to whether the decision to fudge the review was brought to cabinet and decided there, Deputy Kelly said government need to immediately outline what is going on with this…

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Minister playing for time on abortion review

Labour Senator and health committee member Annie Hoey said the inability of the Minister for Health to provide a single straight answer regarding the abortion review under questioning is deeply worrying. Highlighting the many areas that need to be examined during the review, Senator Hoey said the Minister cannot continue to push women’s healthcare aside….

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In person college exams must be in adherence to government guidelines

Labour spokesperson on Further and Higher Education Annie Hoey has called on the Minister to provide assurance to all students that in-person exams are being held in line with public health guidance. Senator Hoey said: “Young people have been an afterthought throughout the pandemic. Last month I wrote to Minister Harris asking him to detail…

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