During Statements on the HSE Winter Plan today (7th October 2020) I noted that the plan was being presented to the Seanad on a day when the Government was also asking An Garda Síochána to create havoc on the roads for many people. I asked the members of the House to imagine what it must be like to be in a tailback of many kilometres if trying to bring an elderly relative to or from hospital, or to be a nurse on the way to the frontline, or a self-employed person travelling to open a shop.
The Garda Commissioner should reconsider this approach immediately as now is not the time to set members of the public against An Garda Siochána if they feel inconvenienced by this deplorable short sharp shock of widespread checkpoints.
While welcoming the announcement of extra acute beds in the Winter Plan, I asked Minister of State Mary Butler why the huge shortage of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds was omitted from her speech on Wednesday. Successive governments over many years have failed to address this issue and the unambitious and inadequate target of just 17 additional beds in the Winter Plan is completely unacceptable.
A video of my contribution is here https://youtu.be/L2emRIrA-DE
- Senator Michael McDowell, 7th October 2020