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100 days: How parties propose to fix health crisis

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Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly addresses the media yesterday. Picture: Collins

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly addresses the media yesterday. Picture: Collins

Collins Dublin, Garrett White

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly addresses the media yesterday. Picture: Collins

To give voters a better understanding of what parties are offering, we asked them to set out key policies they will introduce in their first 100 days in office. Today we look at policies to resolve the health crisis.

Fine Gael

Decide on the location for three new elective hospitals in Galway, Cork and Dublin. These will be central to the long-term reduction of waiting lists. Start the process of reducing medical costs for families by legislating to bring in free GP care on a phased basis and to scrap inpatient hospital charges for children.

Fianna Fáil

Lift recruitment embargo to fill front-line vacancies in emergency departments and acute hospitals first. Reverse the 1pc (€20m) cuts to the disability sector. Direct NTPF to arrange outpatient appointments for the 3,800-plus who've been waiting since 2015 to see a consultant. Expedite plans for the 2,600 beds promised under the capacity review.

Sinn Féin

Tackle the trolley crisis by ending the ban on recruitment and start hiring front-line staff as part of a commitment to hire 2,500 more nurses and midwives, and 1,000 more doctors and consultants. Re-open 400 closed beds and start work to open an additional 1,100 beds. Emergency injection of funds to clear waiting lists for home-help hours.

Labour Party

End the HSE recruitment embargo and employ necessary staff in acute hospitals including a rebalancing of resources to the worst hit Mid-West region, while re-negotiating the GP contract and consultant contract. Fully fund demand for home-help. Implement recommendations in the Scally, MacCraith and RCOG reports, with oversight from the CervicalCheck Steering Committee.

Green Party

Declare a national emergency in relation to the hospital overcrowding crisis. Establish a subcommittee between Departments of Health and Finance and HSE to plan the move to multi-annual budgeting for Sláintecare. Establish a scheme to provide contraception free to all women. Initiate legislation to create a public liability scheme similar to the Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand, which has been successful in reducing insurance costs for various sectors.

Solidarity-People Before Profit

Increase wages of health staff to recruit more workers. Abolish car parking charges in hospitals. Establish a public pharmacy agency to save on drug costs by sourcing drugs from global market.

Irish Independent