[Sinn Fein]

24 August 2001

Time for government action on Health

Sinn Fein Alderman Sean Mac Manus has said that the government must use this years Budget to provide resources to tackle the Health crisis.  Alderman Mac Manus of Sligo was speaking after the largest survey of its kind in the state found that 95 per cent of people want the government to spend more on public health to reduce waiting lists and improve services.

The survey, Perceptions of the Quality of Health Care in the Public Private Services in Ireland, encompassed 3,000 households.  The survey was undertaken by the Economic and Social Research Institute and confirms that the majority of Irish people are unhappy with the public heath service, particularly with the marked difference in waiting times between public patients and those with private insurance.

Alderman Mac Manus said:

``The public have consistently said that health care is a priority issue for them. Yet the government has failed time and again to address this matter. Waiting lists are growing all the time. This year's budget must include adequate allocation to tackle this effectively. Providing tax breaks for the rich at the expense of investment in the health service will no longer be accepted.

``There is little doubt that our health system is in crisis. Sinn Fein will ensure that this will be an election issue. The budget will be Fianna Fáil's last chance to reverse their atrocious record on Health. I sincerely hope that they take it.''

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