Reopening A&E is not impossible – Adams

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has insisted that his party’s promise to reopen the emergency department at Roscommon Hospital is realistic – and dismissed views to the contrary. On a visit to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon town on Wednesday, February 10, Deputy Adams said: “If it was a choice between giving the money to the bankers or looking after our elderly or our people who need hospital care, we would put it into public services, not into the bankers.

  “The Government could find €64 billion to give to the banks. 

  “That money could have been put into hospital services. We said at the time: ‘Don’t pay the bondholders.’”

  Asked directly if the unit would be reopened if Sinn Féin were in power, he said: “Yes, because people require that need.”

  Deputy Adams said that Sinn Féin’s proposal to reopen the unit would be made possible through the introduction of universal health care.

  “The Government don’t have a consistent position on these matters,” he said. “We do – universal health care. We have costed it. We have a very, very detailed plan, and it can be done if there’s a government with the will to.”

  He said that where his party were fundamentally different that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour was that Sinn Féin believed that “the right to health service should be an entitlement of citizenship”.

  “If you take as a policy decision, you then build towards that objective,” said Deputy Adams. He was also questioned about the ambulance crisis in Co. Roscommon: statistics released recently showed that counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon had the worst response times in the country.

  Deputy Adams said that this was an issue he felt strongly about. Deputy Adams said that, if elected to the next government, his party would address the ambulance situation.

  Overall, Deputy Adams claimed that Co. Roscommon was on its knees because of a lack of investment by the successive governments in the areas of infrastructure, sustainable jobs and public services.

  “This is a county, Roscommon, which has been left behind. They never saw the Celtic Tiger when the Celtic Tiger was raging,” he said.