Sinn Féin Cllr Gerry Mc Monagle has said that “urgent investment is needed to protect our health services”.
The party this week unveiled a €1.9 billion plan to protect capacity in the health service.
The Letterkenny politician said “Our health service is facing a perfect storm. Patients and health care workers need our support.
“We have a plan for reopening the economy, we have a plan for reopening schools.
“Now we need a realistic plan to protect Ireland’s health.
“Sinn Féin has proposed a €1.9 billion plan to protect capacity in the health service.”
He said every option has to be on the table, and workers need to be guaranteed certainty in their employment.
He added “We need to expand physical infrastructure through space in the community, repurposing space in acute hospitals, expanding space through modular units, and leveraging at-cost capacity in the private sector.
“Covid-19 has exposed a decades-long failure to build a public health system that has enough doctors, nurses and beds.
“Pre-Covid, our health system was in crisis. Now, it is under pressure on several fronts: overworked staff, Covid care, non-Covid care, catching-up on delayed care, a vast reduction in capacity, and the looming winter flu.
“There are now more than 700,000 people on waiting lists, and this will continue to grow. We could lose from 20 to 40% bed capacity.
“Front Line Staff are at burnout and cannot continue to work overtime in understaffed conditions. This is not safe or fair for staff or patients.”
He concluded that whilst he accepts that the current Government have increased funding for the HSE, it is not enough to deal with the crisis we currently have in our health service.
“This is an emergency; it needs emergency response,” he added.