“Health system in chaos while Minister Harris jets off to Belgium,” Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to reconsider his proposed visit to the Netherlands and Belgium for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed that the numbers of patients on trolleys this week reached historic highs of 714:
“I think it is grossly irresponsible for Minister Harris to be out of the country at a time when almost every major local and regional hospital is in the grip of capacity crisis with respect to patients on trolleys.
Unless he is going off to learn how The Netherlands achieved number one status on the Euro Health Consumer Index in 2015 or how it has managed to be listed in the top 3 European countries since 2005 in terms of health economics, then he is clearly failing in his sense of priorities.
In normal circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable for government ministers such as minister Harris to fly the Irish flag abroad at this time of year; however these are far from normal times.
We have chronic and systemic problems right across the board and we also now face an unprecedented revolt by GP’s to a central plank of the minister’s policy with respect to abortion provision. If he gave even a fraction of the passion that he has for pushing abortion to reducing the trolley crisis or addressing the deficits in Home Care Package’s then we might actually get somewhere.
As it is, the Minister has spent the vast majority of this parliamentary session focusing entirely on the passing a referendum bill which will place un-quantifiable strains on an already creaking health care system.
The Minister must therefore immediately reassess his priorities and act accordingly,” concluded Deputy McGrath.