Varadkar unfit to practise as Health Minister

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.


Government policy since the 2001 ‘Health Strategy’ was to increase public hospital beds by 3,000 to bring up the total to 15,000 beds.

Minister for Health Mary Harney tried to pretend that only 1,000 private ‘collocated’ beds would do instead, but even these few beds were never achieved by the private sector despite massive state subsidies.
Instead the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) now estimates that 1,700 more acute beds in public hospitals have been closed since 2008 leaving us with somewhere in the region of 10,500 beds.
Bringing our hospital bed capacity, at 2.8 beds per thousand people, up to the EU average 4.8 beds per thousand population, would mean a capacity of at least the 18,000 acute hospital beds we had in the 1980s.
Increasing the number of beds crucially means employing the staff to care for the people in them. Varadkar wants to keep up the embargo on public sector numbers to help create Fine Gael’s imaginary ‘fiscal space’.
That is why he makes incredible comments that no health care professional would stand over.’