Frank O’Rourke has said Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health has been marred by outpatient lists he simply cannot get to grips with.
Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as figures revealed that there has been a sharp increase in the number of patients languishing on outpatient waiting lists at Naas General Hospital since Minister Harris took up office.
Deputy O’Rourke explained, “In May 2016 when Simon Harris became Minister for Health there were 839 people waiting greater than 12 months for an outpatient appointment at Naas General Hospital. In February 2019 this number stood at 2,989, representing a 256% increase. Nationally, there are now 541,899 people waiting for an appointment with a consultant. That’s almost equal to the population of Connacht at around 550,000. When the numbers waiting for an appointment is set to surpass the population of a province surely it’s time for the Minister to take action. This is clearly a crisis yet we see very little appetite from Minister Harris to tackle these astonishingly bad figures. Having had first-hand experience of the consultants and staff in Naas General Hospital – I know they are doing their very best under challenging circumstances. They deserve more help from the Minister”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.
Cllr Carmel Kelly has welcomed news that estates in Kill, Naas and Sallins are finally being Taken In Charge.
Estates cannot avail of public services until they have been taken in charge by the Council. Such services might include the provision of street lights, clearing of drains, the fixing of potholes.
“The Taking In Charge of estates is an issue I have been highlighting for some time, a few months back following another request, I received a 30+ page report listing the many estates not yet in charge.”, Carmel said.
Below is a List of estates that the Building and Development Control Section propose to be taken in charge in the coming 6 months in Naas Municipal District: :
KILL – Saddlers Hall, Glendara and Rochford Abbey
SALLINS – Straffan Way
NAAS – Landen Park, Racecourse Gate and The Maudlings.
The following estates are proposed to be taken in charge by the end of the year:
SALLINS – Osberstown Court, Park, Drive, Sallins Wharf and Pier
NAAS – Aldergrove and Killashee View
KILL – Whitethorn Grove – The Mews
Both Kildare North Fianna Fáil TDs have said that the allocation of funding to provide new rail carriages will do little to alleviate the overcrowding challenges faced by passengers in the short and medium term along the Kildare line following reports that the first contract for new carriages is unlikely to be awarded before the end of the year.
James Lawless commented, “I welcome this long overdue investment in Irish rail services, which is now serving a record number of passengers each year. It is vital to invest in Ireland’s public transport, if we are to reduce the congestion and environmental pollution that is plaguing our country. While the funding for new carriages is to be welcomed, it is disappointing that the first contract, for 41 new carriages, is not due to be awarded until the end of the year.”
A large crowd – several hundred – turned out in Sallins Community Centre to view and give their views on the proposals for the Grand Canal Greenway which was hosted by Cllr Carmel Kelly and James Lawless TD.
Cllr Kelly professed herself very pleased with the large numbers that attended and encouraged local people to have their say on the proposals by making a submission to Kildare Country Council by the 18th of January.
Pictured are James Lawless TD, Cllr Carmel Kelly and County Council candidate Brian Larkin
James Lawless TD has welcomed the news that the Naas Shopping Centre is to be put up for sale in March. James has been actively involved with trying to expedite the sale and development of the site for many years.
James commented, “I have had multiple meetings with NAMA, KCC, many potential buyers, the sellers and the receiver of this development over the past few years. With the imminent arrival of Dunnes to Naas Main Street, the trading environment is changing and the final sale of this property will accelerate that.”
James added, “The preference of KCC and myself is for the centre to be bought and developed as a shopping centre but any serious proposal should be considered. Whatever happens next, this is the start of a new chapter for Naas town.”