Despite crocodile tears from successive governments, the cold reality is that over the last thirty years thousands of beds have been stripped from the system. There is a better way. We demand a massive investment programme that would prioritise prevention over cure. Specifically, we advocate a state run home help service and a much larger capacity of transition beds in community hospitals. We also advocate increasing bed numbers to the EU average and restoring nurses and healthcare workers wages to pre crisis levels.
We also advocate an increase in services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy to aid the discharge of patients from hospitals in a timely fashion. Real investment in primary care would facilitate the recycling of acute beds and reduce the need for trolleys in our Accident and Emergency Departments. Increased emphasis on respite care and home carers would also allow many more people to be treated at home.
Mental health is also badly under-funded. Each year up to one million people are defined by the HSE as suffering depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation. This is not remotely acceptable. The current Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has completely failed, we therefore call for his resignation.
Finally, we advocate the ending of two – tier medicine in Ireland. The heath service must be rationed on the basis of patient need rather than ability to pay. Health care must be free at the point of use and paid for through direct taxation.
The Still Waiting Campaign will be holding Vigils at hospitals across the country on Friday April 14th at 5pm, For more information or to get involved contact Cyril Brennan on 0858589909