Article from the May 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

Health crisis "There will always be waiting lists"

The health service is in a mess because of 30 years of neglect. Neither Fianna Fail, the PDs or any of the other major political parties are going to do anything to fundamentally solve the health crisis. Make them sick on 11 June - don't vote for them.

There are only 20 beds in the state for children under 16 with psychiatric problems and a one year waiting list in some areas for outpatients. Now these young people may have to go abroad for treatment.

By Stephen Boyd

The crisis at Tralee General Hospital is so acute that a consultant has claimed some cancer patients are going undiagnosed because of Government under-funding.

From 1 July, Louth County Hospital won't have consultant surgeons on site from 5pm or at weekends.

All across the country, it's the same - a litany of major problems afflict our health service and it's all because of Government neglect and cutbacks.

Fianna Fail made a big play of their election promise to get rid of hospital waiting lists within two years. Now the Director of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (set up by Government to get rid of the waiting lists) has said "There will always be waiting lists."

Officially there are nearly 30,000 people on hospital waiting lists. Nearly 500 of these are on a list for over two years awaiting surgery!

Fianna Fail and the PDs promised 13 billion euro for health that would transform the service. This election promise like so many others has been broken.

Now they're at it again. Michael Martin has just announced that the Government are to miraclously find 400 million euro to open hospital facilities that have been lying idle for years. These facilities had not been opened in the last two years because of Government cuts.

Now with an election fast approaching - hey presto Charlie McCreevy has stumbled across 400 million he didn't realise he had and the Government attempts another con on the electorate.

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