Lives At Risk Due To Health Cuts – Adams

lg_adams_copy3Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the health service is crumbling and lives are being put at risk. Speaking in the Dáil after senior doctors expressed major concern at overcrowding in emergency departments, he called on the Government to reverse James Reilly’s “disastrous health cuts”.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on Tuesday had the highest number of patients – 30 – on trolleys of any hospital in the state.

Gerry Adams said: “Senior frontline doctors operating in emergency departments, are deeply concerned that trolley numbers remain extremely high. In the past two weeks, trolley numbers have exceeded 300-a-day.”

He also pointed out that figures supplied by the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) showed that 394 patients are on trolleys today in emergency departments or wards around the state. Of these, 308 are in emergency departments.

Mr Adams continued: “Meanwhile the head of the HSE has bluntly said that the money being allocated for the health service this year will not be enough to deliver the services required.”

“Taoiseach, our health services are crumbling before our eyes. Lives are clearly being put at risk. Will you at least commit today to providing the necessary funding to the 2014 HSE service plan and will you further  commit to reverse the disastrous health cuts that Minister Reilly has been responsible for?”

He said the government was lurching from one debacle to another in relation to key public services:

“The health service was already at breaking point before the outrageous cuts inflicted by the HSE Service Plan. Despite the untiring efforts of health workers, our health service is not fit for purpose. The cuts introduced by Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael have devastated frontline care.

“€4 billion has been taken out of the health service since 2008.Thousands of citizens face the loss of discretionary medical cards in 2014, including seriously ill and disabled children.  Funding for nursing home beds is being cut, with the knock-on pressure this puts on hospital beds.

“Prescription charges have been trebled by a Minister who condemned them when he was in Opposition. There are 375,000 people on the outpatients waiting list.”

The Sinn Féin leader said people need and demand a radical change of direction in Government Health Policy.


HSE fail to repair boiler after 12 months – Sharkey

Cllr Tomás SharkySinn Féin Councillor Tomás Sharkey has reacted angrily to news that the HSE has yet to fix a broken boiler in Louth County Hospital after 12 months. The dirty linen from the Dundalk hospital is being transported to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Councillor Sharkey said
“Last year the HSE stopped the laundry service in Dundalk after a boiler was deemed in need of repair. I have asked the HSE to fix the boiler and to date this has not happened. Every day dirty linen is transported from Dundalk to Drogheda, laundered and transported back to Dundalk again. There is an obvious expense involved here and I am sure the cost of repairs would have been cheaper.
“I contacted the management of the HSE about this matter again last week and am disappointed at the reply. It seems that there is no plan to fix the boiler in Dundalk and start laundry work in our hospital. The HSE says it is “investigating the feasibility of delivering Laundry services through it’s existing infrastructure.
I fear that the laundry service will not return to Dundalk unless the boiler is repaired.”

Tullyallen Is Not A Dumping Ground – Cassidy

Alan CassidyIn the last week there has been a spate of illegal dumping of rubbish in and around the Tullyallen area. The Dummeys lane has once more been particularly hard hit. It seems that whoever is doing this gets more brazen as time goes on, and it’s clear that they’re not acting alone.

Local resident and Sinn Féin candidate in the upcoming Local Government elections, Alan Cassidy said ‘I couldn’t believe what I saw when I pulled onto the Dummeys lane. There was an entire refrigeration unit very clearly, from a Centra store. It beggars belief. I’ve contacted the litter warden regarding this, and also Centra Ireland to try and find out how a fridge from one of their stores could end up being dumped like this.

Further along the lane there’s also a couch and numerous bags of rubbish. Its not just here though, there’s been dumping on the Slane road and other areas around the village too. We have a beautiful village nestled in the historic BoyneValley, but every time rubbish is dumped it takes away from the area as a whole. It’s clear that a more pro-active approach has to be taken. The litter warden can only do so much and they have an uphill task. Louth County Council have a litter hot line and I would urge all readers to save this number in your phone 1800 202606.”Alan Cassidy

Alan Cassidy Dumping 1

Adams Calls For More Answers on Ambulance Service in Louth

Investigation needed in North East Region

Investigation needed in North East Region

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams today raised in the Dáil the fatal stabbing of Wayne McQuillan on News Years morning in Drogheda and the response of the ambulance service.

Teachta Adams has called for the Minister for Health to ask HIQA “to carry out a thorough investigation into the resourcing, structure and management systems of the Ambulance Service in the north east region.” He also asked that “any investigation by HIQA is carried out in consultation with those frontline staff in our ambulance service who work long hours and provide a remarkable service, often with inadequate resources.”

Teachta Adams has also submitted a series of Parliamentary Questions on the issue.

The Sinn Féin leader said: “Wayne McQuillan was stabbed in the early hours of New Year’s Day in the Rathmullan Park area of Drogheda. I want to extend condolences and sympathies to his family.

According to the National Ambulance Service the nearest available ambulance to respond was in Ardee and took 21 minutes to arrive at the scene. This falls outside the National Service Plan 2014 target which is 19 minutes.

By this stage the Gardaí had already decided to move Mr. McQuillan to Our Lady of Lourdes. Regrettably Mr. McQuillan died.

The actual time between the first call being received, the ambulance being dispatched, and arriving at the scene was 25 minutes – six minutes over the standard set by the Service Plan. The decision by the NAS to only start the clock ticking from the time that an ambulance is dispatched distorts the real picture.

I also understand that an ambulance was available on New Year’s morning in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital but was not dispatched. The Minister failed to answer this question.

On Monday of this week there was another serious incident involving a woman who had collapsed outside Dunnes Stores on West Street in Drogheda.

The Drogheda ambulance had earlier been dispatched to Navan to provide cover. However there was a local crew already available in Navan. There was also a second crew from Dunshaughlin and an emergency response vehicle, also in Navan.

Why was the Drogheda crew dispatched to Navan? The Minister failed to answer this question.

As a consequence it had to travel back to Drogheda to respond to the emergency call which took more than 30 minutes.

Minister, these difficulties are not the fault of the ambulance staff and emergency services.

First responders are deeply frustrated at the conditions under which they are expected to provide this vital service to the public, including the numbers of available ambulances; their location and the arrangements for the rostering of staff.

It has also been revealed in the weeks since Wayne McQuillan died that in this state we have one paramedic to almost 4,000 people –in the north and in Scotland – it is paramedic to 1500 citizens.

I welcome the fact that HIQA has agreed to carry out an investigation into the New Year Drogheda incident.

However, HIQA should now carry out a thorough investigation into the resourcing, structure and management systems of the Ambulance Service in the north east region. It should also consult with those frontline staff in our ambulance service who work long hours and provide a remarkable service, often with inadequate resources.”

Corrigan & Flood Call For Easier Access To Life Saving Medication

Cllr Edel Corrigan

Cllr Edel Corrigan

Kenneth Flood

Kenneth Flood

Councillor Edel Corrigan has submitted a motion to the Louth County Council monthly meeting to be held on Monday 20th January, calling on Louth County Council to request that HSE and Minister for Health James Reilly, ensure that legislation and codes of practice be put in place to ease the restrictions on the availability of Epinephrine auto injectors (commonly known as EpiPens) and other Anaphylaxis medicines and to make them available in public areas.

Following research on the subject done by Kenneth Flood, a Sinn Féin candidate for Drogheda in the upcoming Local Government Elections, Cllr Corrigan has said “With the knowledge that Anaphylaxis is on rise following a W.H.O. (World Health Organisation) survey in 2010, we need to make access to these potentially life saving medicines easier to prevent such tragic events like the death of 14 year old Emma Sloan, from Anaphylaxis, on O’Connell Street in Dublin, after her mother was refused an EpiPen by a pharmacist as she didn’t have Emma’s prescription with her.”

According to Kenneth Flood, “Epinephrine auto-injectors, the most well known of which are EpiPens, contain adrenaline and are the first line of emergency treatment for anaphylaxis, an extremely severe allergic reaction that can become fatal within minutes.”

Kenneth continued, “the USA, which is one of the most restrictive territories in the world when it comes to pharmaceutical availability, saw the need to make it easier to access epipens following the death of Ammaria Johnson, a 7-year-old girl from Virginia, after she ate a nut in the school playground. Now there is an availability of epipens nationally and they have introduced The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act which was signed into US Law on November 13th 2013.”

Cllr Edel Corrigan said “Just last month, Down District Council have committed to train staff on the use EpiPens to help people who could potentially suffer an allergic reaction while in public facilities following the proposal being put forward by one of our local councillors there. I would hope that Louth Local Authorities would commit to doing the same, so that there can be an added reassurance for people in the local area who are vulnerable to anaphylaxis.”

Speaking of her motion, she continued “I hope that fellow councillors on Louth County Council will support this motion as Legislation urgently needs to be put in place nationally to allow easier access to this potentially life saving medication, the current Government have the power to prevent another life being lost like Emma Sloan.”