Labour Party Local Area Representative for Trim, Tracy McElhinney, has blasted the way the Minister for Health is treating the whole Sláintecare development.
She called on the Minister to immediately extend the term of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council and to start listening to the concerns members have repeatedly raised.
She told Meath Live “There seems to be quite a big gap between what the Government is saying is happening and what’s actually happening with Sláintecare. There appears to be a total breakdown in communication between the Minister and members of the Advisory Council. It’s clear that he is not prioritising the concerns raised by members.
“In his resignation letter, the Chair of Sláintecare Dr Keane said that the “requirements for implementing this unprecedented programme for change are seriously lacking”. Alarm bells should have started ringing in the Minister’s ears that a person with this level of experience felt there were insurmountable obstacles in the way of Sláintecare.
“This is a worrying assessment of the Government’s commitment to ending a two-tier health system. We need to understand what road blocks to Sláintecare are in place and urgently find a way to overcome this.
“Change of the scale proposed by Sláintecare demands full government attention and commitment. Everything that can be done to prevent this process collapsing must be done, and the Government must commit to extending the Advisory Council’s term without delay.
“Actions speak louder than words, and the Minister’s lack of ambition or interest in engaging fairly with the Advisory Council following the resignations rings clear.
Sláintecare has been praised by experts as the strategy that we need as a nation, yet it never received support by this Government. Sláintecare is an opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to health in this country.
It is an opportunity to ensure that every single person in this State can be assured that if they fall ill, they will be cared for irrespective of their wealth. It is an opportunity to embed the principle of fairness in healthcare in this country.”