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Government Health cuts - a return to the '80s and life-threatening for patients - Ó Caoláin

16 December, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for the immediate publication of the HSE Service Plan for 2009 as approved by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney.  Deputy Ó Caoláin said that if the reported cuts in the plan go ahead they would be “a return to the 1980s and life-threatening for patients in our public health service”.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The Minister for Health & Children should immediately publish the HSE Service Plan for 2009 which she has approved and which proposes savage cuts in our public health services. The plan should be put before the Dáil and debated this week before the Christmas recess and the Minister should come before the Dáil to account for it.

“If the cuts proposed in this plan go ahead they would compound the chaos on our public health services. They would mean cuts in A&E services including emergency services for children in Dublin, cuts in bed numbers in our acute hospitals and cuts in outpatient services. This is on top of the cuts that are already causing widespread hardship to patients and stretching hospital staff to the limit.

“If implemented this plan would represent a return to the cuts of the 1980s from which the health system took many years to recover. They would be life-threatening for patients in our public health service.

“Minister Harney has signed off on this plan for cuts in our public health service while at the same time presiding over continuing tax breaks for the private health business, including the for-profit private hospital co-location scheme.

“We in Sinn Féin will join with others in resisting these cuts and standing up for healthcare justice.” ENDS

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