There was a Fine Gael sponsored motion on the Health Servicesin the Dail. The following was my contribution on the 7th Oct

I commend Deputy Reilly on tabling this motion on behalf of Fine Gael. Our motion this evening is about putting the patient first. That can only be achieved by protecting front line staff and services. I object in the strongest possible terms to the notion put forward last night by the Minister, Deputy Mary Harney, that the reconfiguration of services in the mid-west area is an example for the rest of the country to follow. The view that it is all plain sailing, that reconfiguration is the promised land of an ideal health care service is totally wide of the mark. The reality is quite different; in fact, it is fundamentally different. Limerick Regional Hospital simply cannot cope with the demands placed upon it. Less than a month ago, on Tuesday, 14 September, 46 patients were on trolleys in our so-called centre of excellence, 23 were in the emergency department, 14 were in a transit lounge and nine were on the hospital corridor. On Tuesday of this week, 33 patients were on trolleys while on Monday the number wa