Donegal Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has said the county’s healthcare workers are overworked, exhausted, and at burnout.
He has said that they cannot be expected to continue to shoulder the burden of underinvestment in the County’s health service which has led to this.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said “Our local healthcare workers have come through a year of relentless work against the pandemic and keeping health services running. They had an extremely difficult 2020 and have faced unimaginable challenges again this year.
“It has been non-stop, and they are at burnout. Morale is low and investment is lacking. Issues of pay inequality, widespread vacancies, excessive workloads and working hours, little rest, and a lack of capacity or safe staffing levels have led to this.
“These are all issues which existed before the pandemic and are not caused by it.”
The Sinn Fein TD said that even in pre-Covid times, our health system was in crisis.
“Covid-19 has just exposed a decades-long failure to build a public health system that has enough doctors, nurses and beds.
“All healthcare worker representatives agree that a tsunami of catch-up care is coming at the health service due to the missed care from the pandemic.
“Now is the time for a change in direction. Real and significant investments must be made urgently.”
He added this is needed to expand staffing levels for fair work and expand capacity to deliver safe and consistent care to clear the backlog of waiting lists.
“We cannot expect healthcare workers to shoulder the burden of underinvestment in health. The system needs real and profound change.
“Last year, Sinn Féin proposed a €1.9 billion emergency plan to protect capacity in the health service during this crisis.
“We argued the 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.
“The government’s response fell short once again”
He concluded that this culture of failure and neglect has to change now.
“We cannot return to the same health service that we had before this crisis. We need to provide the resources to implement Sláintecare and transform our health service away from the public/ private mess that has got us here.
“Simply put, we need more beds, more nurses and more doctors in our public health service across Donegal and across the State to meet the needs of our people in the years ahead”.Tags: