Donegal North East Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Health, James Reilly to make his position clear on the removal of Marley’s bus for seriously ill Donegal patients to Dublin hospitals.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said that senior HSE officials have taken the blame for this debacle but it is the relentless cutbacks ordered by the Minister and his Government that have been the actual cause.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said “The removal of Marley’s bus service has been only the latest cutback by the HSE that impacts on our most vulnerable ill or disabled people.
“In Donegal, we have witnessed substantial cutbacks to home help hours across the county; closure of beds across our community and general hospital network; cutbacks to respite hours for the disabled and their families and much more. All of this has been done to meet the demands of Minister Reilly and his Government”.
“It was in this light that HSE management made the decision to cut Marley’s bus service. Despite the efforts of patients and their families, public representatives in Donegal including myself and Sinn Féin, the HSE management have yet to relent. But they weren’t elected.”
He added Minister James Reilly and his Government have been and they are failing us.
“I am now calling on Minister Reilly to make his position clear on this issue. When he demands cutbacks, is there any service that is untouchable? Or is it open season for even services to our most needy and vulnerable? In the absence of clarification, I am calling on local Fine Gael and Labour representatives to demand that their Government colleague makes his position clear”