Dublin South West Seán Crowe TD described the HSE National Service
Plan announced by the HSE as ‘not up to scratch’ and wholly insufficient
for the almost daily crisis facing the health service.” The National
Service Plan 2015 for the health services has been published and given
full approval by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.
lays out the type and level of services that the Health Service
Executive hopes to provide both directly and through agencies, funded by
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
"By the Health Service
Executive’s own admission its plan will not be ‘up to scratch’ to fully
address the increasing demands being placed on our hospital system.
is a mounting crisis facing the health service with 50,000 patients
waiting for an appointment for more than a year. We have seen the
waiting lists soar this year as a direct result of the earlier plan that
was approved. In the first nine months this year figures suggest that
there has been a 20% increase in waiting times for inpatient cases, and
the number of people waiting more than a year for an outpatient
appointment rose from 9,406 in January to 46,642 at the end of September
– a whopping jump of 385%. Behind all these numbers there are real
people desperately hoping for a life transforming operation or
specialist medical advice. There is nothing in the plan that will
reassure those waiting that numbers will be drastically reduced any time
in the distant future.
"The so called ‘Fair Deal’ for elderly
patients continues to underprovide with hard pressed families having
to make up the shortfall, stretched to breaking point. There are ongoing
delays in discharging patients and this has contributed in no small way
by a lack of step down beds, but the plan only offers a miserly €25
“The tiny increase in numbers of doctors and nurses will
be welcome, but will have no real impact considering the incremental
cuts in frontline personnel in recent years.
“Many of the other
positive elements in this plan have already announced. There will be a
broad welcome for the additional €20m funding for disability services,
but again this will be seen as playing ‘catch up’.
alternative budget published in early October would have provided an
additional €31 million for these services, openly acknowledging that
even that would not be enough due to years of severe underfunding.
is allocated for free GP care for children under the age of 6, but
there is still uncertainty surrounding the so called ‘nominal’ charge by
GPs for this care.
“This plan is being promoted as adding an
extra €625 million to the health spend next year, but €510 million
is already part of the 2014 overspend carried forward, so that will
leave an additional €115 million.
“Knowing only too well the
HSE’s history the likelihood is that much of this will be used to paper
over existing cracks rather than any thought-out patient centred plan
“The plan also aims to cut spending on patent drugs with a greater emphasis on alternative generics.
is a general consensus among those interested in health that the spend
on agency staff particularly in the nursing area, has to be reduced but
it cannot be done in isolation and without also looking at any
possible impact this will have on health delivery.
plan is ‘not up to scratch,’ appears to have been cobbled together and
gives us little new content, unfortunately nothing that would give a
person waiting on services any great confidence.”