[Sinn Fein]

6 October 1998

Cash Crisis at Tallaght Hospital

Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South West, Séan Crowe has said that Tallaght hospital which opened in June is already in serious crisis having overrun its 60 million budget by 15 million. Calling for an immediate increase in funding in the budget he described the lack of funding at the Tallaght Hospital as ``a national scandal.'' Mr Crowe said:

``Over 15,000 people are on hospital waiting lists in Dublin with many children waiting over 12 months to be treated. There is a three month waiting list in hospitals for a mammogram (breast cancer) test while in the Blackrock clinic it can be done almost immediately if you have 70 pounds. This is the stark reality behind our Celtic Tiger Health Service - money talks and skips the queue.

``It is a national scandal that during a time of unprecedented economic growth that any hospital should have to cut back in basic services because of the lack of funding.

``It is even more bizarre that the newly opened Tallaght Hospital should experience long delays within weeks of being opened with patients being referred to other hospitals.

``Our Health Service should be a care driven public service not a cash driven businesss. I am publicly calling on the Minister for Health Brian Cowan to address Tallaght Hospital's budget crisis and deliver the necessary resources to this flagship hospital.''

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