During Leaders Questions in the Dail I questioned the Taoiseach about the current crisis in the health service. The impending strike of nurses at A and E departments around the country has once again brought into focus the huge problems that exist on the front line around the country, not only at A and E departments but in terms of hospital waiting lists as well. I pointed out to the Taoiseach cases like a woman who contacted me after her hip operation was cancelled on the day she was due to have it some months ago and she was called again for today (Tuesday) only to be told that the operation was cancelled again. It is a disgraceful way to be treating the sick and elderly in our society. There are children waiting years for operations and orthodontic treatment, and many elderly people have to wait over a year just to see a consultant. I told the Taoiseach that it is not a question of simply firing more money at the situation, it requires proper management and leadership and we have not seen that from the current Minister so far. I appealed to the Taoiseach to get involved himself in trying to solve this urgent crisis. I said that if the current Minister was not able to solve the crisis then he should look to someone else to do it but that the crisis must be solved now. Appointing more administrators will certainly not solve this situation. There are too many chiefs and not enough indians in our health service at the moment. We have a culture of no one taking responsibility for any problems and that includes the HSE and the Minister, and it has to stop.
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