People Before Profit TD, Brid Smith, has attacked the planned closure of beds at the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health services at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Ballyfermot.

 The TD who represents the local catchment area around the Hospital said the closure of 50% of the 22 beds due to a shortage of nurses demonstrates the crisis in both mental health services and the wider National Health Service.Read more »

 About 46,000 young children have complex needs, often relating to slower development of speech and language faculties. Yet the Irish health service does not make adequate provision for early intervention.

Councillor Brid Smith from People Before Profit said,

‘We come across many parents who are worried sick by the failure of the state to provide the necessary resources for early intervention. The waiting list for speech and language therapists is so long that parents are being forced to go private – at great cost to themselves.

‘International research suggests that the case load for a speech and language therapist should lie somewhere between 30 and 65 cases.

‘In Ireland, however, the case load of Speech and Language therapists is way more than double this ratio. It amounts to an average of 162 cases per therapist.

‘Like every other aspect of our health service this under-provision helps to support a two tier system. Worried parents will tend to go private rather than wait for months and years to obtain an evaluation.

‘The cost of these private sessions amount to about €50 for a 40 minute session or €100 for an hour.

‘A decent government would have doubled the number of speech and language therapists to cut waiting lists. They would make early evaluation and intervention a priority.

‘But this government cares more about the lifestyle of bondholders and bankers. That is why they sacrifice the most vulnerable on their altar of greed.’

Leo Varadkar’s comments about more hospital beds ‘slowing down’ hospitals shows why he should never be returned as a Health Minister.

Councillor Brid Smith, People Before Profit candidate, said,

Varadkar has let the PR mask slip and revealed his true philosophy. He wants to keep the public health system under pressure so that the staff are worked to the bone and there is a carry over trade for private hospitals.


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Brid Smith, People Before Profit Euro Candidate challenges Labour and the government’s austerity agenda on Vincent Browne Show, The People’s Debate on 5th March 2014