Fine Gael and the Labour Party are issuing a stream of promises about what they will do if re-elected. But the promises made it 2011 turned about to be a fiction.
People Before Profit spokesperson, John Lyons, said: ‘In 2011, Fine Gael issued an advertisement with a picture of Enda Kenny saying that ‘ I will end the scandal of patients on trolleys’. Yet on Monday, there were 516 patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals. Beaumont Hospital, for example, had 30 patients.
‘When Fine Gael was elected to government, a total of 8329 patients had suffered the indignity of being left on trolleys throughout 2011. By January, 2015 that had risen to 8684 – an increase of 4 percent.
‘Health Minister Leo Varadkar is aware that the nurses union, INMO, maintains a daily trolley watch count and has attempted to cut the numbers by crisis management. HSE managers are cancelling scheduled hospital operations to increase resources for A&E departments. Last year, for example, a record number of 13,000 operations were cancelled.
‘But this strategy is not working because it does not tackle the root of the problem – the closure of hospital wards and the reduction of hospital staff by approximately 10,000.
‘We need to invest to create a high quality public health service and pay for it through progressive taxation. In the longer term, this will save money as many people are now paying three times – though private health insurance, taxes and hospital charges – for a poor service where they may end up on a hospital trolley’.