Health Minister responsible for ‘flawed policies’ claims General Election candidate

Health Minister Leo Varadker has been accused of presiding over “bad budgets and flawed policies”.

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway West John Connolly said despite a series of promises the Minister has been unable to get to grips with the overcrowding crisis in the country’s emergency department.

“For the last two winters we have seen trolley numbers surge and despite a series of promises Minister Varadkar has been unable to get to grips with the crisis,” Mr Connolly commented.

“Only last week we saw 558 people left on hospital trolleys in emergency departments across the country as the overcrowding crisis reached intolerable levels.

On Monday there are 29 people being treated on trolleys in the ED at University Hospital Galway. This is wholly unacceptable. Far from Enda Kenny’s promise to ‘end the scandal of patients on trolleys’, the situation in our EDs has deteriorated uncontrollably. What’s most worrying is the fact that the Minister has approved a cut in the 2016 hospital budget, which will, no doubt, further exacerbate the problem.”

He stated patients and frontline staff are suffering as a result of Minister Varadkar’s “bad budgets and flawed policies”.

“Every day we hear new stories about seriously ill patients being left for hours on end without a bed. Nurses and doctors are being forced to treat frail and elderly patients in chairs in corridors without privacy or dignity. What kind of health service is this?

“Staff at the hospital [UHG] have indicated to me that 10 nurses left the ED at last year because of the overcrowding crisis. This is a damning indictment of the situation in our hospitals if nurses are choosing to leave because they have such serious concerns about patient safety.

“Nurses have been vocal about the overcrowding crisis for months on end but their concerns have fallen on deaf ears. This Government is big on rhetoric but short on action. The health service is in chaos and nothing is changing. In fact, the situation is getting worse. What we need is action, not commentary or platitudes, but after five years of broken promises any prospect of that is extremely unlikely.”

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