Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that the planned 24-hour strike by 10,000 hospital workers, including staff in Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda “will have a significant and serious impact on the provision of services.”
The Louth TD said: “The possibility of a further five days of strikes, on June 25 and 26 and July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th will put an enormous strain on the health service in Louth and across the state.”
Gerry Adams aid:
“This dispute between health workers and the HSE is over a failure by the HSE to implement pay increases arising from a job evaluation scheme. Health care workers involved include porters, household and catering services and healthcare assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs and surgical instrument technicians.
This threatened strike comes on top of the recent strikes by ambulance staff belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association who have gone on strike seven times in pursuit of their demand for union recognition. The PNA are planning a further 24-hour strike sometime this month.
The HSE claim that recognition of the PNA would impair good industrial relations in the Ambulance Service is a nonsense. The denial of workers their constitutional right to form or join unions of their choice is what is impairing industrial relations in the health service.
At the same time the HSE and Department of Health have introduced a recruitment pause within the health service and the most recent figures released by the INMO showed that 9,015 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds in May. Clearly there continues to be a serious capacity deficit.
There is an onus on the government, and in particular the Ministers Harris and Donohoe to take immediate action to resolve this dispute before June 20th – the date of the first strike. The decision by the Dept. of Public Expenditure to refer this situation to the Public Service Stability Agreement Oversight Group gives no reassurance that this matter is being treated with the urgency that is required”.
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the decision of the Garda Commissioner to allocate 25 new Gardaí recruits to Drogheda ,adding to the frontline Services so urgently needed to respond to respond to the ongoing drug related crimes in the County.
Teachta Adams said:
“The significant and ongoing escalation in violence and intimidation by drug gangs demands a robust response from adequately resourced Garda services in Louth.
I therefore welcome the announcement of additional Garda.
However, the drug crisis and the associated violence it brings from gangs extends beyond Drogheda.
In order to tackle the crisis effectively it needs to be adequately resourced in a holistic way.
It must include support services for drug addiction , mental health services .
In recent months my colleagues on Louth County Council and I have dealt with a number of families in the north Louth area that have been the victims of threats and attacks from these drug gangs.
We have also been working closely with the Louth Garda Division who have bluntly told us that Louth needs more Gardaì and support services .
I have recently urged An Taoiseach to commit to providing a significant increase in additional Gardaí resources from the upcoming budget.
Additional resources must be allocated fairly across the constituency.”
At the press conference at which the family of Seamus Ludlow launched their leaflet campaign Louth TD Gerry Adams offered to seek support for a Dáil motion in support of the campaign.
Following discussions with the family of Seamus Ludlow they have agreed the text of a draft motion which is being shared with other Dáil parties and Louth representatives.
Gerry Adams said:
“I want to commend the courage and resolve of the family of Seamus Ludlow who have been campaigning for truth and justice for 43 years. Despite the many lies that were told and the obstacles that have been placed in their way the Ludlow family have remained steadfast.
The report by the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence & Women’s Rights into the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Murder of Seamus Ludlow (Barron Report) published in March 2006 called for two Commissions of Investigation to be established.
Sinn Féin has begun the process of speaking to the other Dáil parties seeking their support for the motion. Our objective is to secure cross party support for the motion which is calling on the government to implement the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for two Commissions of Investigation.”
Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said the waiting lists for children from Louth and Monaghan to access HSE orthodontic services are unacceptably long.
Gerry Adams said: “The Dental Health Action Plan, published in 1994 set out the statutory entitlement to three routine dental screenings during primary school, in 2nd, 4th and 6th class, and Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed in the recently launched ‘Smile agus Slainte: National Oral Health Policy’ that “the existing criteria for accessing publicly funded oral healthcare services will remain: all children up to their 16th birthday.”
“Yet despite all of these promises and commitments over the decades, current figures revealed to me by the HSE indicate that in Louth and Meath 13,485 school children in these target classes remain to be screened before the end of the school term.
“The HSE has further confirmed that once the current school term ends and these children leave 2nd, 4th and 6th class, this cohort of children are no longer deemed to be waiting as they are no longer eligible for an assessment.
“I have submitted further parliamentary questions regarding the numbers of staff employed to undertake dental assessments in Louth and Meath and to ascertain how many children leave school without ever having a dental assessment. “I have also received information from the HSE which states that in Louth and Monaghan there are currently 748 children on the orthodontic treatment waiting list. “These children have been assessed and referred for orthodontic treatment such as braces. “The figures indicate that 316 of these children have been waiting over 18 months for treatment. “This is completely unacceptable – the oral health of children in Louth is being compromised because the government refuse to invest in dental services. “For years the public dental service suffered huge cuts and a serious lack of resources is what is causing these huge waiting lists. “We need to see targeted investment in the dental services across the State, but also here in Louth – our children and young people cannot be left behind.”