Emergency Department doctors criticise lack of focus on health issues in "almost comical" Government talks

Irish Association for Emergency Medicine says the preoccupation on water charges "is a very serious cause of concern"

Emergency department, a&e, Ireland,

Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Doctors in our Emergency Departments have expressed concern about the lack of focus on vital health issues in what they describe as the "almost comical" attempts to form a Government.

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine says it is seriously concerned about what it describes as the "misplaced focus" of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in the current negotiations.

The group says the "seemingly exclusive preoccupation on a charging mechanism for the provision of domestic water is a very serious cause of concern".

They add that "there is an inescapable need to finally and definitively tackle crowding unless the intention is to see further patients die unnecessarily".

Dr Fergal Hickey is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Sligo University Hospital.

He believes it is wrong that so much time has been spent on water charges as overcrowding hits records levels in our health service.

"There are other major problems in the health service which don't seem to have caught the politicians' attention - and yet this is what the public needs sorted out more than anything else," he suggested.

The issue of housing is set to dominate talks today as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil negotiators attempt to finalise a deal on a minority Fine Gael-led Government.