The Workers’ Party have said that the revelation that almost one million people are on the country’s hospital waiting lists should be a source of deep shame for all parties and independents deputies who have served in government over the last two decades.
The party’s County Meath representative, Seamus McDonagh, said that while being the collator of this information, Fianna Fáil was no position to crow about it, being the party which had, along with the PD’s Mary Harney, created the HSE and which maintains the present coalition in power. Neither could the non-party ministers in the present government escape blame.
Mr. McDonagh said: “Most of the political parties currently in Dáil Éireann have been in power at some stage over the past 15 to 20 years. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Greens have all sat at cabinet level and were there as our health service went from bad to worse Each has been propped up by a collection of independent deputies. This malaise in our public health service is their collective fault”.
The Workers’ Party representative said the one million people on hospital waiting lists, while shocking, would come as no surprise to those people or their families. “This is an appalling indictment of this state as it approaches 100 years of existence. No amount of public relations dressing would explain it away. Words like ‘crisis’ and ‘emergency’ become meaningless with nearly quarter of the population waiting to see a specialist or for a procedure which might for them mean the difference between life and death”. said Seamus McDonagh
In conclusion he said the extent of the waiting lists and the record of successive governments did not inspire confidence that the changes of the type outlined in the Sláintecare plan, not withstanding its shortcomings and lack of detail, would be realised.