Crowe says Health Minister is “clearly out of his depth”

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Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has claimed that cracks in the Health Service are widening under Minister Simon Harris’ watch.

The Sinn Féin TD also accused him of failing to meet the needs of patients after it was revealed this week that cancer operations are being cancelled in significant numbers as a result of overcrowded hospitals.

He said:

“Health Minister, Simon Harris, is clearly out of his depth in his job and the cracks in our under resourced health service are widening and getting worse every day.

“As a result patients are suffering unnecessarily and that is simply unacceptable.

“It’s not just opposition politicians that are saying this.

“According to the Irish Hospitals Consultants Association the unresolved problems in our hospitals are now at such a critical level that patient care and safety is compromised on a daily basis, and that this practice is resulting in the cancellation of essential surgery with increasing frequency.”

The Irish Cancer Society released a statement on Monday calling for an immediate investigation into reports of surgical delays in some of Ireland’s designated cancer centres amid claims cancer surgeries are being cancelled due to staff shortages.

The national cancer charity has contacted the director of the National Cancer Control Programme, Dr Jerome Coffey, urging him to investigate the reported surgical delays quickly.

Deputy Crowe believes Minister Harris failure to tackle hospital overcrowding has put patients safety and chance of survival in jeopardy.

“It is simply unbearable to think of the anguish and worry that families of critically ill patients have to endure after being told that long awaited operations or lifesaving surgery is cancelled due to the lack of a bed.

“Sinn Fein’s ‘Comhliosta’ proposal, which the Minister has already responded positively to, is a system that would allow patients to transfer across different hospital lists to get on to the shortest possible one. It is a system which works well in places like Portugal and we want to replicate it here.

“We must prioritise this because we cannot stand over a system that fails cancer patients, women and children, that leaves our sick and elderly on hospital trolleys, and over 600,000 patients languishing on waiting lists many of them in chronic pain.”