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Ahern and Harney cannot hide behind HSE – Ó Caoláin

2 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Health Minister Mary Harney must bear full responsibility for the cuts being imposed by the Health Service Executive.

He stated, "The decision of the HSE to continue its recruitment freeze in the health services is disgraceful and the health service unions are fully justified in now contemplating protest action. The false claims by Health Minister Harney and HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm that the cuts will not affect patient care are being fully exposed with hospitals around the State having to curtail services.

"Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has remained silent on these cuts while both he and Health Minister Harney attempt to hide behind the HSE. But they cannot shirk their responsibility for these totally unnecessary cuts. With a vibrant economy for the past decade and a HSE which they claim has streamlined the running of the health services, the Government is still presiding over fundamentally flawed policies and gross mismanagement, leading poorer health outcomes for public patients.

"The health service unions deserve public support in their efforts to resist these cuts." ENDS

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