Action needed to fill posts in Our Lady of Lourdes – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin leader and TD for Louth/East Meath Gerry Adams has this morning called for the Minister for Health to take urgent action to ensure the 104 whole-time equivalent posts in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital are filled in light of the indefinite work-to-rule announced by nursing staff today.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to pay tribute and extend my solidarity to the staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda who do an incredible job treating patients in the most difficult of circumstances.  The fact that the hospital is operating with 104 less staff than it should is nothing short of a scandal.

“Our Lady of Lourdes has consistently been amongst the three hospitals in the State with the highest emergency department trolley figures, and yesterday had the highest with 26 patients waiting on trolleys for a bed.

“The chaos in our hospital emergency departments will not be resolved by the Government’s ill-considered and underfunded two-tier approach, agreed with Fianna Fáil during Government negotiations.

“The introduction last week of a recruitment moratorium at hospital groups is only going to worsen the situation.

“What we need is real investment in public healthcare and the required staffing levels in hospitals to be met. The Minister for Health must take urgent action to resolve issues at Our Lady of Lourdes.”

Louth Sinn Féin Conference to review election and plan for future

Imelda & GerryLouth Sinn Féin Conference to review election and plan for future

Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD will join Gerry Adams TD and Imelda Munster TD in hosting a conference this evening to review the recent general election result and to plan for continued growth in the constituency in the time ahead, including preparation for future elections.

The conference will take place in the Crowne Plaza, Dundalk, at 7.15 pm.

There will be a media opportunity with Gerry Adams TD, Imelda Munster TD and Teachta McDonald at 7pm in the Crowne Plaza.

New Programme for Government recipe for more chaos in ED’s – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams questioned the Tánaiste during Leaders questions in the Dáil on the crisis in the health service and in particular our emergency departments. The Louth TD specifically raised the case of Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda which in the last 48 hours has had at least 49 patients on trolleys.

The Louth TD warned that; “the chaos in our emergency departments will not be resolved by the government’s ill-considered and underfunded two tier approach.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The delayed HSE report for January and February revealed that 2,700 patients aged over 75 years spent more than 24 hours on trolleys in emergency departments across the state.

Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda continues to be among the top three hospitals in the state with the worst trolley wait figures.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week 49 patients were on trolleys.

The HSE report also revealed in the first two months of this year that 8600 patients waited for over a day before being admitted to hospital.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in its report on trolley figures recorded that in March there were 9,381 patients on trolleys.

This is an increase on last year and double the figure for March 2008.

Clearly government policy is fuelling the deteriorating conditions in our emergency departments despite the best efforts of a dedicated staff.

Hospital consultants have already criticised the new Programme for Government claiming that the proposals on tackling trolley waits are a “watered-down” plan and amount to “steps backwards rather than forwards.”. In a statement they warned that “the current minimalist Programme for Government is likely to see a further 1500-1750 members of the community die as a result of this inertia.”

The chaos in our emergency departments will not be resolved by the government’s ill-considered and underfunded two tier approach.”

 

Cllr Tom Cunningham – A further tax on households as Pay by Weight is due to come into effect

SF Tom Cunningham council picSinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has hit out as what he describes as a ‘further tax on households’.

The ‘pay by weight’ charges on waste comes into effect on July 1st and Cllr Cunningham at yesterday’s Louth Council meeting asked if “the waste companies have informed their customers on the new payment structure, or to call it what it is, their new levy service charge? Have they informed them of the different price per kilo for each bin?”

Another problem raised by Cllr Cunningham is the fact that not all households in the county have received their brown bins yet and wondered if “the bin providers are going to make an allowance to those householders as it will cost almost double to place these waste items into the black bins? Have the waste management company committed to providing the brown bins before 1st July?”

Tom Cunningham pointed out that until this is rectified there will be an inequality in the county where “customers in the bigger towns will pay less for their waste collection than those in smaller towns and villages and in the countryside. Not only that but those who suffer disability or ill health, carers who are not able to recycle medical waste will be hit hardest.

At the minute this new regulation is giving waste collection operators a free hand to increase their yearly levy so how long will it take for more and more households to be in a position that they cannot afford their waste collection? Green bin waste charges facilitated by former Labour Minister Alan Kelly, will merely discourage recycling of household waste and lead to more illegal dumping and once again the tax payers will be forced to foot the bill.”

Cllr Cunningham was told it was the responsibility of these private companies and not down to Louth County Council. Cllr Cunningham said he has been left with no option “but to write to the private waste collection companies and ask these questions directly. The Council appears to have washed its hands off it. This makes no environmental or economic sense.”

Meanwhile in the Dáil this week Sinn Féin tabled a motion to stop the imposition of green bin waste charges and called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to allow this motion to be taken and voted on at the earliest opportunity.”

 

The full text of the motion is below:

Sinn Féin Dáil motion :

“That Dáil Éireann;

– Recognises the strong public opposition to green bin charges and opposes the introduction of a pay-by-weight system imposed by the previous Labour Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly which is due to come into effect from July 2016;

– Recognises the serious financial difficulties this system will cause for the 70,000 carers across the state who cannot recycle medical waste material, and; low-income earners; those in receipt of state benefits, and those who suffer from ill health or disability; 

– Recognises that the introduction of green bin charges will discourage people from recycling their household waste; 

– Calls on the Government to take into account the concerns expressed by citizens, carers and advocate organisations and stop the imminent imposition of this scheme.

 

 

 

Landmark European judgement on violation of Travellers Rights welcomed – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth Gerry Adams TD has welcomed “this week’s landmark judgement by the European Committee of Social Rights into the violation of Travellers rights by the government. The committee found that the government has failed to provide enough accommodation for Travellers, that many of the sites provided are in a poor condition and that legal safeguards for Travellers threatened with eviction are insufficient.

This judgement has implications for the treatment of the Travelling community in Louth and in particular the 23 families who were evicted at the start of the year by Louth County from the Woodland Park site.”

Teachta Adams said:

“In the last four months Traveller families in Dundalk have been subject to forcible eviction on two occasions and threats to evict on others. As a result of the action of Louth County Council Traveller families have been forced to squat on illegal sites in the Dundalk area. They are not alone. According to the ECSR report the number of families living in unsafe, unserviced and unauthorised sites has increased by 50% in the last two years.

“The publication of the ECSR judgement against the State is a damning one and cannot be ignored by the government or by other state bodies, including local authorities.

“I will be meeting the new Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney this week to find a solution to the issues in my own constituency, including the provision of an emergency halting site for Travellers displaced there, in keeping with the State’s obligations, and I intend to put the findings of the ECSR judgement to him so his Department begins to take seriously the consistent breaches of the human rights of the Travelling community by successive Irish governments.”