22 March 2007 Edition

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Government must stop private, for-profit hospital plan

Commenting on the Taoiseach’s response to his Leader’s Question on the Government’s hospital ‘co-location’ plan in the Dáil this week, Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:
“The Taoiseach’s reply confirms that the Government is preparing to sign these deals with developers of private for-profit hospitals before the General Election.
“In order to benefit private profiteers for whom healthcare is a lucrative business they are going to tie the hands of the State with contracts. Public land and public money in the form of massive tax breaks will be going towards the privatisation of our health services.
“The Taoiseach is standing over a scheme that will see the two-tier system reinforced with privileged people guaranteed instant access to private hospitals built with State aid on public land while public patients suffer and die on waiting lists and in queues.
“He is justifying a system where people in private rooms in private hospitals are safer from MRSA than those in overcrowded public wards. Fianna Fáil, a party calling itself republican, is standing over a system where there are second-class citizens within our health services.
“Sinn Féin is pledged to oppose this privatization plan and we will continue to campaign against it and for all Government health spending to be in the public system only with equal access for all based on need alone.”

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