'Margaret' is the first of our internet video campaign highlighting the continuing crisis in our Accident and Emergency units and to warn of the dangers of a potential deterioriation in A&Es if the Government goes ahead with its plans to build super private clinics on the grounds of public hospitals.
We have made clear our intentions of making the health service, and the failures of Fianna Fail and the PDs in this area over the past ten years, a central plank in our election campaign. One of Pat's Commitments for Change is a guarantee to deliver 2,300 more beds in clean hospitals.
When we talk about food poverty in Ireland, obviously we are not talking about famine or wide-spread food shortage, but there is a serious problem when 19 per cent of boy children and 14 per cent of girl children go to bed hungry.
Food poverty is an issue which affects the rich and poor alike. Recent figures show 15 per cent of children from the higher social classes experience food poverty.
Food poverty is the inability to access sufficient nutrition. If we want a healthier society we must get our children eating more fruit and vegetables and less junk food.
We launched our nationwide health survey today which produced some dreadful but not surprising results.
Among the findings of the survey is the fact that 84 per cent of private patients are seen within three months, compared to just 30 per cent of public patients. Within six months the rate for private patients rises to 98 per cent while only 58 per cent of public patients are seen.
As many as 22 per cent of public patients are still waiting after a year.
Earlier today, we joined with Fine Gael to outline what we would do in the area of healthcare when in government.
This joint policy document tackles head-on the main causes for concern that people have when they and their families are ill. Through more beds, prioritising the patient and better investment of money to where it really is needed, we believe that we can build the health service that the people of Ireland deserve. more
To help us develop some further practical solutions that we will implement in government, we are asking you to take a few minutes to give us your views on the health service. Click here to take survey