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HSE squanders money while essential care services are cut – Ó Caoláin

7 July, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that it “beggars belief” that the HSE is to spend €1,000 per day to rent the third floor of a high rise development in Carlow town while the local St. Dympna’s Hospital has a huge amount of vacant accommodation.

The Carlow Nationalist this week reports that the HSE has just signed a five year contract to rent the third floor of the Shamrock Plaza, at the cost of €365,000 per annum. The HSE will move their physiotherapy, public health, speech and language and occupational therapy services to the high rise office block from their current location at St Dympna’s Hospital.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“While disabled people and their carers and families have had to take to the streets to protest against cuts to respite and other essential care services, the HSE is squandering money on rents to private landlords, when it has plenty of accommodation in its own hands.

“The wasteful folly of this HSE action in Carlow is being highlighted by HSE workers who have spoken to the media and who are described as ‘beyond furious’ at what is taking place.

“The HSE has claimed that this is about providing primary care. There is nothing in Government policy, as stated publicly so far, to say that no primary care service can be provided at existing hospital sites. The policy calls for more and better use of primary care; it does not dictate that primary care services cannot be at hospital sites as claimed by the HSE. If there is some new Government directive or regulation to that effect then it has huge implications for the entire public health service, including massive cost implications.

“I believe this is another example of HSE mismanagement and bureaucratic waste. The only beneficiary would seem to be the prospective landlord.” ENDS

Link to The Nationalist, Carlow

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