Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr John Brady has said that the decision of nurses to embark on industrial action shows that “chaos and crisis” is the only health policy of the Fine Gael and Labour Party Government.
He stated that the decision was completely understandable given the conditions faced by frontline hospital staff throughout the state.
Councillor Brady said;
“The decision of nurses to embark on strike action shows that chaos and crisis is the only health policy of this failed government.
“The members of the IMNO clearly feel that they have no other option but to take this action. They face absolutely unacceptable overcrowding and chaotic conditions on a daily basis.
“It was an overwhelming vote of 92% in favour of embarking on a strike. Clearly the vast majority of nurses are worn-down by the conditions and overcrowding that they face in our A&Es on a daily basis. The situation has obviously reached a tipping-point.
"This government was supported by all five Wicklow TDs in closing the A&E in St. Columcilles Hospital, Loughlinstown. This has helped create the crisis that now exists in St. Vincent's Univeristy Hospital where 37 patients are lying on trollies.
"21,000 people used the A&E in St Columcille's Hospital annually before it was closed. They now must use St. Vincent's. No changes were made to cater for the increase at St Vincent's even though it was already over running capacity.
"The conditions faced by patients and staff, in hospital around the country, is a damning indictment of this government's time in office.
“We can all remember Enda Kenny promising, time and again, to end the hospital trolley scandal. However, on his watch, the crisis has only gone from bad to worse. The Labour Party is equally culpable having gone along with this reckless approach, which now has our health system lurching into chaos just before Christmas.
“We need a government that will commit to defending public services and will invest in our health system. Fine Gael and the Labour Party have only committed a paltry additional €18 million to health for the coming year. How can we expect anything but crisis and chaos in our hospital when those in power favour tax breaks for the well off over providing decent public services?
“Sinn Féin in government would defend our public services and invest in our health system. In our alternative budget, we proposed to recruit 2,500 nurses over five years if in government, with further recruitment envisaged in a second term of office.”