Hospital Consultants vote No Confidence in Minister Harris

Hospital Consultants vote No Confidence in Minister Harris

  • Hospital consultants believe the Minister lacks the ‘understanding’ to improve hospital conditions for public patients
  • Decision also taken by IHCA in favour of major escalation of CARECANTWAIT campaign, following Emergency Council Meeting

IHCA President Dr. Donal O’Hanlon: “Hospital consultants across our public health service no longer have confidence in Minister Harris. We do not believe that he has the authority, understanding, inclination or experience to deliver timely, quality hospital care for patients. He has become increasingly complacent and deaf to the suffering of patients across Ireland”.

 Hospital Consultant representatives meeting on Saturday evening have passed a vote of No Confidence in Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD.

The vote was unanimously passed by the Council of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) following an Emergency Meeting which took place on Saturday in Dublin.

The meeting of hospital consultant representatives was called to discuss the deteriorating conditions across our acute hospitals and the detrimental impact this is having on public patients.

Access to and the delivery of care for public patients across our acute hospitals have been characterised, in recent weeks and ahead of the Winter surge, by record numbers of patients being treated on trolleys, unacceptably long waits in Emergency Departments particularly for vulnerable elderly patients and increasing numbers of patients – now at one million – waiting many months and years to access care.

The vote of No Confidence in Minister Harris is, according to hospital consultants, an indication of the extent to which consultants have lost faith in the ability of Minister Harris to provide timely, quality hospital care or to improve conditions for patients.

Over the last seven months, Minister Harris has failed to honour several commitments to engage with consultant representatives to address the crisis in our acute public hospitals.

A decision to significantly escalate the IHCA’s CARECANTWAIT campaign was also approved at Saturday’s emergency meeting, with an intensification of activities expected over the coming weeks.

Comment by IHCA President Dr. Donal O’Hanlon:

 Hospital consultants across our acute public hospitals no longer have confidence in Minister Harris. We do not believe that he has the authority, understanding, inclination or experience to deliver timely, quality hospital care for patients. He has become increasingly complacent and deaf to the suffering of patients across Ireland.

“After three years in the office, Minister Harris has presided over an unacceptable increase of 153, 914 patients on the outpatient waiting list since he became Minister for Health. This amounts to a 37% increase or almost five additional patients every hour. While over the same period, the number of patients treated on trolleys has increased by 36% since May 2016.

“Ensuring all patients can access timely, quality hospital care is a challenge, hospital consultants working on wards and caring for patients know and live it each day. But it’s not an excuse for doing nothing.

“Consultants can no longer support a Minister who is shirking his responsibility, as Minister for Health, to fix our health service and is failing to engage with the IHCA, whose more than 3,000 consultant members, are committed to improving conditions for patients”.

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