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Sat, Sep
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Taoiseach should focus on his own role – Kilcoyne



Edwin McGreal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar should focus all his energy on ensuring the health service is best equipped to deal with the Covid-19 crisis rather than spending some of his time back working as a doctor.
That’s the view of Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, who was reacting to news that the Taoiseach has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the current crisis.
Castlebar-based Cllr Kilcoyne (Ind), a member of the west’s HSE Regional Health Forum, argued that there are pressing matters that the Taoiseach ought to be dealing with first.
“The more hands on deck the better, but I’d be happier if he focused his energy on ensuring there were earlier results to tests [and] enough proper personal protective equipment, and addressing why Ireland has the lowest ICU bed rate per capita in the EU,” Cllr Kilcoyne told The Mayo News.
“I’d prefer if he ensured that home helpers, who might be moving between three or four homes a day, had enough PPE. If he moved on all of these things, he might be doing the country more good than spending time in a hospital,” he added.
Cllr Kilcoyne also criticised members of the Government’s recent comments praising those working in healthcare in light of the nurses’ strike last year.  
“It galls me when I see [Minister for Health] Simon Harris and Leo Varadkar talk about our heroes in healthcare. The nurses had to go on the road and strike when looking for a few bob under this same government,” he said.