HSE Service Plan reflects Budget cuts – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has rejected what he called the “hype and spin” of Health Minister Mary Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm after Minister Harney announced her approval of the HSE Service Plan for 2010.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“It has been estimated that the HSE Service Plan for 2010 will result in the closure of over 1,000 more acute hospital beds as well as reducing hospital admission by 33,000. Contrary to the hype and spin of Health Minister Harney and HSE Chief Drumm this is not about making the system more efficient and better for patients; it is about further cost-cutting in a public health system that already has a shortage of hospital beds and staff.
“This year we have already seen a record-breaking 500 patients on trolleys and chairs in A&E departments on one day in January. Yet with fewer hospital beds and fewer staff the HSE Service Plan outlines ‘service levels’ with 100% of patients admitted or discharged from A&E within six hours of registration. It is totally unrealistic.
“The plan also talks about having 394 primary care teams established. Again this is unrealistic given that at the end of November 2009 there were only 112 primary care teams at advanced functioning stage. While primary care will remain under-developed and inadequate the HSE will push ahead with the cuts to hospital care which improved primary care is supposed to make up for.” ENDS