Sunday 24 September 2017

Enda Kenny rounds on Micheál Martin over Fianna Fail's 'mythical health policy'

Enda Kenny, left, and Micheal Martin, right.
Enda Kenny, left, and Micheal Martin, right.

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has come under fire over the state of the health system which was described by the Opposition as being in a "national crisis".

Mr Kenny admitted that Health Minister Leo Varadkar faces "challenges" in reducing trolley numbers and addressing difficulties surrounding the Fair Deal scheme.

But the Taoiseach used 'Leaders' Questions' today to round on Fianna Fáil over the party's lack of health policy.

"The Fianna Fáil health policy is the mythical Fianna Fáil policy which will deal with all these answers at some time in the future," Mr Kenny said sarcastically.

There were heated scenes in the Dail this morning as Mr Kenny clashed with Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The Taoiseach consistently accused Fianna Fáil of having no health policy whatsoever, while he highlighted a decision by Mr Adams to travel to the US to receive personal treatment.

"Deputy Martin has no policy and you have no faith, you decide to go somewhere else for treatment and that's your choice," Mr Kenny said.

During his speaking slot, Mr Martin said people are at risk of dying because they are lingering on trolleys.

The Fianna Fáil leader also accused Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who was present for 'Leaders' Questions', of "smirking" while the issue of health was being discussed.

Mr Adams called on the Taoiseach to put in place emergency measures aimed at dealing with the trolley crisis, adding that 479 patients were "languishing" in hospital corridors today.

He said the government has given more money to the "consultants of Irish Water" than to the Fair Deal scheme.

A review into the scheme, which provides assistance for people who require long term nursing home support, is set to be published shortly.

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