Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr John Brady has said that the latest hospital waiting list figures show that the health crisis, presided over by Fine Gael Minister Leo Varadkar, is still having a disastrous impact at St Vincent's Hospital.
Cllr Brady accused Minister Leo Varadkar, and government TDs, of treating the crisis in our hospitals as an election problem that must be brushed under the carpet before voters go to the polls.
He stated that the latest hospital waiting list figures are further evidence of this government's mismanagement of the health service.
"There are 15,306 people on the outpatient waiting at St Vincent's Hospital while nearly 900 patients have been waiting for treatment for over a year now.
It is clear that the Minister is failing to alleviate the strain on the delivery of frontline services at the hospital.
"Minister Varadkar had stated that it was his goal to ensure that, by the end of the year, no patient would be waiting longer than 15 months for treatment. It is now clear that he will fail to deliver on that aim.
"The staggering size of the hospital waiting lists in St Vincent's Hospital provides further evidence of this government's terrible mismanagement of our health service.
"When you consider these figures in conjunction with the scandal of patients lying on hospital trolleys and nurses voting for strike action, it is clear that we have a Minister, and a government, all at sea when it comes to resolving the crisis in our hospitals.
"Instead of investing in the delivery of frontline services, the Minister's has chosen to fine struggling hospitals to the tune of €5.8 million for failing to reduce hospital waiting lists.
"It is clear the the Minister is now cycnically treating the hospital crisis as an electoral problem for the government. He is telling hospitals to make his problem disappear, to brush it under the carpet, on else face financial penalties.
"Sinn Féin has argued that the only genuine way of solving the crisis is to stop undermining the public health system and to start investing in, and properly resourcing, our hospitals.
"In our alternative budget for 2016, we outlined how an investment of €383 million would begin to make serious inroads into tackling the crisis. This investment would provide 500 additional nurses, 250 midwives, and 250 consultants to help alleviate the strain on the delivery of frontline services.
"However, Fine Gael and the Labour Party have continued to make political choices that are exacerbating and prolonging the crisis. Their Minister and their TDs prefer to pay lip service the crisis rather than implementing measures that would allow patients, regardless of income, access to vital treatment."