Government putting Westmeath patients’ lives at risk – Sorca Clarke TD
Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath, Sorca Clarke TD has said that the government’s decision to underfund the health service this year is putting patients’ lives at risk.
Speaking ahead of Sinn Féin’s motion to lift the recruitment embargo and properly fund the health service, brought forward by the party’s spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane, Deputy Clarke said that the recruitment embargo is having disastrous consequences in Westmeath.
“The government’s decision to underfund the health service this year and next has now led to a recruitment embargo, meaning 7,000 essential posts have now been scrapped.
“ I have spoken with long serving staff, who due to personal circumstances have been on reduced hours. They are now willing and able to return to full time hours and that is being refused within a health service where the waiting lists are growing daily, it is beyond belief.
“It is clear the government has thrown in the towel on health and the longer they are in power the worse things will get.
“They are putting patients’ lives at risk this winter and beyond.
“The memorandums sent by the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive which directed a severe escalation in the recruitment embargo across the health service note that the embargo ‘will create difficulties’ in the face of ‘an enormous increase in demand’.
“It is in black and white that this decision will spell disaster.
“It has caused the removal of vital frontline vacant posts which were needed for the winter ahead, and the withdrawal of job offers from prospective health service workers.
“It has sent a message to Irish workers abroad not to come home, a message to workers frustrated with the health service in Ireland to emigrate, and a message to overseas health services to come and take our healthcare workers.
“This week, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, David Cullinane, is bringing forward a motion to the Dáil calling on the government to lift the recruitment embargo and properly fund the health service, to urgently bring forward revised estimates for 2023 to properly fund the health service to year end, and reverse its disastrous decision to deliberately underfund the health service in 2024.”