Updated: 15/02/17 : 11:48:41
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Hospital protests to take place Thursday

Ther 'Still Waiting Health Campaign' will be holding a nationwide vigil outside hospitals in Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Kerry, Louth, and Kildare this Thursday, 16 February at 7.30 pm to protest at the loss of innocent lives due to hospital cutbacks.

They have stated that, "Since the 1980s successive governments have cut thousands of acute beds from the Irish healthcare system. Ireland currently ranks 24th of 28 EU nations, with 2.8 acute hospital beds per 1,000 of the population. The OECD average is 4.3 with Japan, for example, having 1 3 beds per 1,000 people.

"According to Dr Fergal Hickey, emergency medical consultant at Sligo University Hospital, hospital shortages are causing the deaths of at least 350 extra people every year.

"The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, claims he is distressed by waiting lists but he refuses to invest. To make matters worse we now find blatant massaging of the hospital waiting list figures.

"From March 7th nurses and hospital staff will take industrial action in a desperate bid to end the underfunding and the overcrowding. There is also unprecedented anger from the general public.

"We are told there is an economic recovery, but still our hospitals remain underfunded. This cannot be allowed to continue. The Still Waiting Campaign is a broad grassroots campaign designed to achieve meaningful and real change in our broken health system.

Our key demands include

The resignation of the health minister, Simon Harris who has been complicit with the falsifying
  of waiting list numbers.

Significant investment in order to raise the number of acute hospital beds to the European average.

Increase the numbers of nurses and frontline staff to pre-crisis levels.

"We cannot attract the number of frontline staff needed within the current pay structures and appalling work conditions that nurses are expected to accept. This must also be a priority for the government."