[Sinn Fein]

26th April 1999

Truth stretched on Tallaght Hospital

Sinn Fein's European and local election candidate, Seán Crowe has accused Health Minister Brian Cowan of ``stretching the truth on the cutbacks in Tallaght Hospital. He was commenting on the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's reply to Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in which the Minister claimed `` there is no funding crisis at Tallaght''.

Mr Crowe said:

``The Minister is stretching the truth when he claims there is no funding crisis at Tallaght. The evidence is there for anyone to see. The cuts are effecting both staff and patients. People are sleeping on trolleys and waiting time for accident and emergency is getting longer.

``The heart angigram machine needs forty thousand pounds to get it up and running. An Accident and Emergency consultant for children has yet to be appointed. A therapeutic pool for patients with movement difficulties is covered over and used as a storage room , because there is no funding.

``And the Minister says there is no problem with funding. Who does he think he's fooling ?

``The crisis in funding is there and its growing. The Minister should stretch his budget not the truth when it comes to Tallaght Hospital.''

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