An independent TD has argued that “healthcare is available quicker to animals than people” in Ireland.
During a Dáil debate on a motion on measures to increase capacity in the health service, Independent TD, Kerry-based Michael Healy-Rae, claimed that “an animal can be treated quicker in Ireland today than a person”.
He commented: “I have said before that if a cow goes down tonight and that cow needs a vet, it would be absolutely outrageous to think the vet would not be there in one, two hours or three hours. It would be outrageous.”
“The cruelty-to-animal people would be down on top of you. Everybody would say you were a scandal to have a cow in pain or have something wrong with her or have her needing an operation.”
“But there is no notice in the world for a person in A&E 24 hours or two or three days. How are we gone so wrong?” he added.
During his address to the house, he added that gaining access to a local GP is “the problem” in many parts of the country at present.
On foot on his, he believes that efforts are needed to “make it attractive” for GPs to reside in rural communities as was the case previously and provide a local service on a 24-hour basis.
He acknowledged the efforts of medical practices that offer services 24 hours per day, seven days a week to people.
The deputy described it as “unfortunate” that it is “not attractive” anymore, from a business perspective, for a person to operate out of a facility, have insurance and provide that service locally.
He concluded by saying: “We have to do more to make it attractive. If we can do that, we may be able to keep people away from hospitals and keep A&E departments free for what they are supposed to be free for, that is, accidents and emergencies.”
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