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Dáil Speech on Hospital Waiting Lists – 23rd September 20155

I thank Deputy Heydon for allowing me to share some of his time. I would like to join him in looking at things in our own locality. In 2007, the Fianna Fáil Party pulled the endoscopic unit at Naas General Hospital from the capital programme. In 2016, this Fine Gael-Labour Party Government will deliver the endoscopic unit to Naas General Hospital. This will enhance the services that are provided at the hospital. The manager of the hospital, Alice, and her staff, including the lead nurse manager, Catherine Hughes, will deliver on a capital programme over the next number of years to develop the hospital. I thank the Minister for the 11 additional beds that the hospital is putting in place to reduce the number of people on trolleys there. I am delighted to welcome the additional staff who are being recruited at Naas General Hospital. I have spoken to him previously about my belief that the national recruitment service is sometimes not fit for purpose. I suggest that local hospitals be allowed to recruit locally. The sooner the legislation for the groups is put in place, the better. The quicker we get that on board, the sooner the groups will be able to work on these matters. I am delighted that three senior decision makers are being recruited for Naas General Hospital. I refer to the consultants who are being taken on there. This will allow patients who previously were being kept in overnight to go home, which will free up more beds. When I looked at the bed management programme in the hospital the other day, I saw how much pressure the hospital is under at all times and I gained a new appreciation of the manner in which it continues to deliver its services. I compliment the staff of all our hospitals, particularly Naas General Hospital, who give exceptional service to the community.