Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has said that in healthcare and politics he is "sick and tired of short-termism" that never find solutions and result in the failures of the past being repeated.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said that there is a massive issue "coming down the road" in relation to non-Covid healthcare.

He said there has been a lack of will, on Government side, to implement Sláintecare and its delivery is essential.

He said he believes there is an ideological problem at the centre of Government when it comes to actually delivering Sláintecare, and this has led to the resignations of Professor Tom Keane and Laura Magahy.

Mr Kelly said that proper investment in the public health system could provide the treatments currently covered by the National Treatment Purchase Fund, which he said he has never favoured "as it pushes the can down the road".

He said that treatments that are needed by people can happen within the health service by investing further to deliver them.

Mr Kelly said it is time for "a new deal for the people as we come out of Covid".

The Labour Party is holding a two-day think-in in Athy, Co Kildare.

He said the party represents work and workers and believes that work should pay.

In order to have the public services that we all want, he said, and this would be funded by a range of taxes and that the tax base must be broadened.

"It's not just the super one line that you hear from some people saying we just have to tax the rich, and of course we have to do that. But we also have to look at other ways of bringing in taxation when it comes to different levies, stamp duties.

"For instance, one thing that I really want to push because the minister missed out on that a couple of weeks ago is the whole issue of vacant sites for instance."

Mr Kelly said Labour believes the pension age should be left as it is at age 66.

Meanwhile, Mr Kelly said that the vote of no-confidence in Simon Coveney is not a priority for the party and there are bigger issues for the Dáil when it resumes for the autumn session.

His comments come as the Fine Gael party mounted a social media defence of Mr Coveney, in advance of tomorrow's Sinn Fein no-confidence motion in the Dáil.

Mr Kelly said that while his party does not have confidence in the Government, priorities including healthcare are more pressing.

He said his colleague Ivana Bacik has apologised for her attendance at the Merrion Hotel event hosted by Katherine Zappone and that this is nothing to do with his party's view on the issue.

He said that "ultimately we believe there are bigger issues for the people than this one".