14th November 2019 | Health, Press Releases

HSE Winter Plan does not address the structural problems in the Health Service – Greens


The Green Party An Comhaontas Glas have reacted to the Government’s Winter plan announced today.

Green Party Health Spokesperson Dr Séamus Mc Menamin said:

“The HSE Winter plan does nothing to address the structural problems in the HSE which lead to overcrowding in our hospitals and is at this point like  moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.
“The partial restoration of hospital beds from the 1,000 beds taken out of the system in the recent past would not be adequate if our population had stood still but our population is ageing and we are now reaping the harvest of: the Recruitment and Retention crisis in General Practice, in consultant posts and in nursing, the delayed and partial restoration of FEMPI to practice payments for GPs, an over reliance on the market to provide nursing and step down bed capacity, and a decision to require our hospitals to work over safe capacity levels.

“The shortage of GPs and hospital consultants means that  ‘senior decision makers’ will not be available in many instances and this can not be addressed by December and there does not appear to be any will among the Government to address this in the medium to long-term. 
“The report also continues the myth that large numbers of patients in Emergency Departments can be managed by GPs or other primary care options. Patients on trolleys are by definition patients who have been seen and assessed as needing admission. This can only be addressed by increasing bed capacity and having doctors and nurses in post to look after them. 
“The introduction of extra home help hours will not offset the decision earlier this year to restrict new entrants home care packages and to stop unused home care hours from being re-allocated,. There is already a backlog and as a GP many of my patients have been allocated a home care package but there is no one to staff these packages and they have to go without.”

For more information contact: 
Ian Carey
Communications Manager
E: press@greenparty.ie

T: +353 1 636 9282
M: +353 85 256 3552