Conway-Walsh to host public meeting on Mayo’s Healthcare Crisis in Castlebar

Sinn Féin’s Dáil Spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, will address a public meeting organised by Mayo General Election candidate Cllr Rose Conway-Walsh that will take place in the Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar next Thursday, November 12 at 7.00pm. The event, entitled “Building a Public Health System that delivers for the West” will feature a talk from Dr David Hickey, a transplant surgeon who served as the Director of the National Kidney and Transplant Programme, on the topic of “building a coalition to fight for a national health system in Ireland”. Cllr Conway-Walsh will speak about the realities for the people of Mayo of the healthcare crisis such as MRI Waiting lists, delays in processing medical cards and broken promises on Rheumatology Services in the county while Pearse Doherty TD will outline Sinn Féin’s alternative for our national healthcare system.

Speaking in advance of the meeting Pearse Doherty TD said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to attend this Public Meeting in Castlebar. Cllr Rose Conway-Walsh has been working with me and our Leinster House team on highlighting the many inadequacies in quality healthcare provision for the people of Mayo, but we can never have enough input from those directly affected by these failings. We will have a significant Q&A session at the end which will give the public an opportunity to discuss policy as well as relaying their own first-hand experience of dealing with the Healthcare system.”

Cllr. Rose Conway-Walsh said: “People in Mayo deserve timely and accessible Healthcare. Every day I see how the privatization, centralization of our health services and the closing of beds impacts on peoples’ lives. I see how people live in pain and die prematurely because they don’t have enough money to get diagnostic tests and treatment. The situation where healthcare provision is based on what part of the country you live in or how much money you have cannot be allowed to continue. Making a stand for healthcare and healthcare workers in Mayo is and will remain an absolute priority for me.”

Deputy Doherty concluded: “In September, 7,630 people were on trolleys across the state. That signified an increase of 17% on the same month last year alone. Patients and frontline staff now face the winter months and every indication is that this crisis is only going to deepen. Patient safety is being compromised. Hospital staff are working under unacceptable conditions in a health system that is severely under-resourced. A severe shortage of nurses is a major contributory factor in the present crisis. Nurses are choosing to go abroad because of poor working conditions and the lack of career prospects here. At least 4,000 additional nurses are required as a matter of urgency in our health service. The government must take on a massive recruitment campaign to bring nurses back home, but this must be combined with a drastic improvement in working conditions at home.“The additional funding allocation announced in the recent budget for Health amounts in real terms to a miserable €18 million, the lowest additional allocation of the seven named Departments in the Government’s Budget 2016 New Expenditure Measures. This is a damning indictment of this Fine Gael-Labour Government, in our alternative budget Sinn Féin committed to a €383 million spend on Health. It is spending of this magnitude that is urgently required and we have shown how this is possible.”

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