20th March 2002
Welcome for progress in A and E dispute
Sinn Fein Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed the breakthrough in the Accident and Emergency dispute. He said:
"I welcome the progress achieved in negotiations arising out of the nurses' work to rule in hospital Accident and Emergency departments. Credit is due to the nurses for highlighting the intolerable situation in A and E units throughout the State. Despite the inconvenience caused, the nurses have the support of the vast majority of our citizens. They know that the nurses have been acting not out of selfish motives but out of real concern for patients.
"The decision on whether to endorse the agreement reached in talks now rests with the nurses' unions. But whatever the outcome, this dispute has again highlighted the major structural problems in the organisation of our hospital services in general, not just in A and E units. The current government has failed to tackle those problems in a concerted manner. The belated publication of the government's Health Strategy cannot make up for that failure now and it is for the people to make their judgement on the government's health record in the forthcoming general election."
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