Ministers ‘turning a blind eye’ to plight of patients – Fitzmaurice

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has accused various Ministers of “turning a blind eye” to the failing health system after recent ambulance shortages caused a patient in the Roscommon/Galway constituency to miss out on important hospital appointments.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice described the plight of the patient who has missed recent appointments after being recently released from a 14-month hospital stay.

  “For one appointment the ambulance was late and when the man arrived at the hospital the clinics had ended. This man has another appointment next Thursday for Roscommon Hospital but he has been told to call on Wednesday to see if there is an ambulance available.

  “What sort of a situation is this? Here we have a consultant waiting, an ambulance is booked a week in advance but now there is no guarantee of that appointment going ahead. It’s completely unacceptable. Is Finian McGrath, the Minister for People with Disabilities, Simon Harris who is the Minister for Health, and Minister Helen McEntee who deals with mental health issues aware that this is going on? This was brought to the attention of the previous Minister many times, so they should know. They have stood up in the Dáil many times criticising the health system and what needs to be done but as far as I’m concerned they are turning a blind eye to what’s going on. Do these Ministers live in the real world or are they worried about these people at all?”