Vigil campaigning against hospital cuts to be held in Dundalk this Friday
The Still Waiting Campaign will be holding vigils at hospitals across the country this Good Friday with the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk one of 16 where the event will be taking place.
The Still Waiting Campaign was set up to campaign for the reversal of cuts to our hospital services.
The Good Friday vigils have been organised to draw attention to the impact of cost cutting in our health service.
The Louth County Hospital has been one of the worst affected hospitals in the country having lost its maternity service in 2001 followed by the closure of the accident and emergency department in 2010.
In a statement, the Still Waiting Campaign co-ordinator, Cyril Brennan said: “The Irish health care system is in crisis. Each year 350 people die needlessly on waiting lists that seem to grow ever longer. 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 underfunded. 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 health 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 vigils will be held at the following hospitals this Friday, April 14th at 5pm.
- Louth: Louth County Hospital Dundalk
- Donegal: Letterkenny University Hospital
- Sligo: Sligo University Hospital
- Galway: Galway University Hospital
- Mayo: Mayo General Hospital
- Roscommon: Roscommon University Hospital
- Kildare: Naas General Hospital
- Kilkenny: St Luke’s Hospital
- Kerry: Kerry University Hospital
- Cork: Mercy University Hospital
- Waterford: Waterford University Hospital
- Wexford: Wexford General Hospital
- Dublin: St James Hospital, The Beaumont Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Tallaght Hospital