Ó Caoláin welcomes ending of co-location
Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed the ending of the plan to co-locate private for-profit hospitals on the grounds of public hospitals. He described the plan as a fiasco which should never have been undertaken.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The decision by the HSE not to allow further time for consortiums to put financial arrangements in place to develop private for-profit hospitals on the grounds of public hospitals spells the end of the co-location plan. This brain-child of former Health Minister Mary Harney, fully supported by her Fianna Fáil and later Green Party colleagues, was a fiasco from start to finish. It was inherently inequitable, it would have reinforced the two-tier hospital system and should never have been undertaken in the first place.
“The futile co-location plan has been a monumental waste of public money and of the time and effort of those in the public health system tasked with facilitating it.
“The co-location plan was allegedly put in place in order to provide 1,000 badly needed additional public hospital beds which supposedly were going to be ‘freed up’ when private beds moved to the new hospitals. As predicted by Sinn Féin and by many in the health sector, this promise has turned out to be a mirage.
“It is now up to the new Health Minister James Reilly to provide those additional beds in the public system, beginning with the opening of closed wards and beds in hospitals across the State. We will be pressing the Minister to do so in the weeks and months ahead.” ENDS