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Senator Catherine Ardagh expresses disbelief at Ministers refusal to answer questions to clarify comments made by the director general of the HSE, Tony O'Brien, about the status of the National Children's hospital
- Minister for State fails to deny statements by Mr Tony O’Brien, HSE that the Children’s hospital will not be progressing -
Dublin based Senator and Seanad Group Leader, Catherine Ardagh has said that important questions need to be asked of the Department of Health, and the HSE, about how the State is facing the overruns at the much needed National Children’s Hospital.
Earlier today the Government lost a vote tabled by Senator Ardagh which called for the Minister for Health to appear before the Seanad to explain why the Director General, of the HSE, Tony O’Brien stated at the Future of Healthcare Committee that the new Children's Hospital will not be progressing.
Speaking in the Seanad before Minister Catherine Bryne tonight, Senator Ardagh said, "I am disappointed that Minister Harris has not attended the House this evening to provide clarity on the this important matter.
“100 years on from the foundation of the State and the most unwell of our children are being treated in substandard medical facilities or in many cases, not being treated at all.
“It has become a matter of fact that Ireland needs a National Children’s Hospital,” added the Senator.
“Despite continual promises, it is most unlikely that the hospital will be fully operational by 2021. The Minister and his close colleagues have shown a complete lack of impetus to find solutions to tackle the already mounting costs.
“The distinct failure to provide leadership, and execute this critically needed project has led to additional time delays, subsequently leading to rising construction and related costs. It is extraordinary how the reported costs to develop the hospital have increased by 50% over the course of 12 months.
"The State is already expected to foot an additional €300 million euro bill, while continued delays are set to only increase that taxpayer bill even further.
"We need clarity and answers over the development of this hospital but the crucial questions I raised have fallen on deaf ears and remain unanswered. The hopeless situation faced by those in need of clinical treatment and appropriate health care, cannot continue.
“As we are all too acutely aware following the RTE Investigates programme which aired this week, there has never been greater case to urgently develop a paediatric hospital which delivers the best possible outcomes for all our children,” concluded Ardagh.
Senator Catherine Ardagh asks Minister to clarify comments made by the Director General of the HSE, Tony O'Brien, at yesterday's Future of Healthcare Committee that the National Children's hospital project would not be progressing
Government lose vote tabled by Senator Catherine Ardagh for the Minister for Health to appear before the Seanad to explain why the National Children's Hospital will not be progressing
- Minister must come up with real, tangible solution to ongoing crisis –
Fianna Fáil Senator and Seanad Group Leader, Catherine Ardagh says patients across Dublin are angry and frustrated following revelations about hidden waiting lists within the health service.
Following a Prime Time Investigates programme aired on Monday night, it emerged that thousands of patients, including children, waiting for procedures were not included in official lists published by the HSE.
Speaking in the Seanad on the issue yesterday, Senator Ardagh said, “There is no one who cannot have been affected by the cases that were highlighted in the Prime Time programme last night. Young children in tears, women in chronic pain and men on the verge of suicide.
"The documentary did not make for easy viewing, yet there are hundreds, possibly thousands more people going through a similar scenario as they languish on a hospital waiting list. This suffering is simply not acceptable.
“What is even more disturbing is the fact that the number of people on these lists is significantly higher than we were led to believe.The programme exposed the fact that there are thousands of additional patients waiting for operations who are not included in the published lists, yet the Health Minister has been unable to explain why this is," added Senator Ardagh.
“The published lists already document a crisis situation, but these hidden lists identify a much more serious problem. The situation is now completely out of control. Patients and their families are already deeply frustrated. These revelations have only served to increase their anger and undermine their confidence in the system.
“I have continually voiced my support for the National Children’s Hospital and see it as a necessity in easing the lengthy waiting lists facing children suffering from debilitating ailments, particularly those with scoliosis.
“Now that a new orthopaedic theatre in Crumlin is complete, it should have only been expected that it would be fully operational to immediately help ease the suffering of children living with the agony of scoliosis but left on waiting lists. Yet, due to this government’s lack of forward planning and pro-active vision this new theatre is short of nurses and remains closed.
“The recruitment of new nurses must be an absolute priority and other issues surrounding short staffing, costs of implants and other bottlenecks within the system must be immediately addressed.
“Fianna Fáil has pushed for the reinstatement of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, and I welcome the Government’s renewed commitment to the scheme, however, Minister Harris must come up with tangible solutions to fix the problem. Shame and despair will not alleviate this crisis and end the suffering for those living on a waiting list.”
Senator Catherine Ardagh raises awareness for International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation