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“Coalition delivers Health privatisation but not FG/Lab promises” – Ó Caoláin

19 October, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the proposed privatisation of management at two major regional hospitals shows that the Coalition is delivering the privatisation of health – which Fine Gael and Labour did not signal – but not the improvements in healthcare delivery which those parties did promise.

He said:

“The announcement by Health Minister James Reilly that he is to bring in private consultancy management to take over two of the major hospitals in the country – the Mid-Western in Limerick and the University Hospital in Galway - has come completely out of the blue. Neither of the Coalition parties signalled such a turn to privatisation in hospital management in advance of the General Election.

“This move raises fundamental questions about the direction of health policy now. Is Minister Reilly making this up as he goes along or is this part of a wider strategy which has not yet been revealed to the public?

“Both Fine Gael and Labour promised to reform healthcare on the basis of universal health insurance. They promised to publish a White Paper on Financing Universal Health Insurance early in the government’s term yet Minister Reilly cannot now even give us an approximate timeframe for its publication.

“In his response to the hospital bed shortage Minister Reilly has parroted his predecessor Mary Harney, despite his demand, while in Opposition, for more beds. Now he continues her legacy of privatisation. What are Labour junior Ministers in Health Kathleen Lynch and Róisín Shortall doing?”

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