Sinn Féin health spokespersons David Cullinane TD and Colm Gildernew have launched a new discussion document in Newry, titled ‘An All-island Vision for Healthcare’.
Speaking at the launch, David Cullinane TD said;
“This document has been compiled following an extensive series of engagements across Ireland, focusing on cross-border healthcare provision.
“I have been speaking to healthcare professionals, civic leaders and communities across the island. The challenges facing healthcare are the same across the board - under investment, cuts from both Dublin and London, and partition.”
The Sinn Féin health spokesperson continued;
“Our discussion document focuses on addressing these challenges, but also in maximising our opportunities to improve healthcare across Ireland. We need to build on cross-border cooperation, develop all-island research potential, collaborate on waiting lists and plan together on workforce challenges.”
Sinn Féin’s Liz Kimmins welcomed the report, especially its commitment to Daisy Hill Hospital. Speaking after the launch, Liz said;
“The challenges facing local healthcare are immense. That’s why Sinn Féin has made health its priority.
“Our budget would see an extra £1 billion for health and that money would be invested in tackling waiting lists; funding cancer and mental health services; recruiting and retaining more nurses and doctors; improving services including ambulance cover; and making it easier for people to see a GP when they need to.
“We want to enhance and improve Daisy Hill Hospital. We want to see our hospital expand to deliver an even better service to the local community. Sinn Féin’s budget and firm commitment to cross-border cooperation are key to Daisy Hill’s future.”
Sinn Féin’s Colm Gildernew, chair of the Health Committee in the Assembly, concluded;
“Our vision for the future of healthcare here, has at its heart the establishment of an all-Ireland National Health Service.
“This service would be free at the point of access, taking the best aspects of our current health services and building on that. We want to deliver better, universal healthcare across the island with supported, well paid staff and timely access to care based on need, not the ability to pay.”