Commenting on the revelation that the original HSE Service Plan memo to the Cabinet from HSE Chief Tony O’Brien stated that it “will not be possible in 2014 to fully meet all of the growing demands placed on the health services” but was changed to read that it will be “very challenging in 2014, to meet all of the growing demands”, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:
“The statement that it will not be possible in 2014 to meet the demands on the health services was presented to Cabinet and then suppressed, with a sanitised version released by Minister James Reilly and published in HSE Service Plan 2014.
“With this revelation the health funding plans of the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition now have zero credibility. €666 million worth of spending cuts to health were signalled in the Budget. This became €619 million in the Service Plan. The earlier version of the Service Plan, we are told, stated that the actual budgetary challenges facing the health service in 2014 is €1 billion.
“HSE Chief Tony O’Brien has confirmed on radio this afternoon that he was given no source for the proposed figure of €113 million ‘probity’ cuts to medical cards, since changed to €23 million in the current Service Plan, and that it did not come from the Health Department of the HSE. What kind of budgeting and planning is this?
“The 2014 HSE Service Plan will mean that €4 billion and 12,500 jobs will have been taken out of the health service since 2008. This is unsustainable and only radical change in Government health policy can ensure that services are provided for those who need them.” ENDS