Public being softened up for more health cuts – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has said the deliberate leaks from the meeting of Health Minister James Reilly with Fine Gael and Labour TDs are designed to “soften up” the public for more health cuts.
“The threatened health cuts ‘leaked’ from Minister Reilly’s meeting would devastate the public health services. The closure of over 40 HSE care homes - following a litany of such closures in recent weeks - the imposition of a 50 euro charge for medical cards, increase in prescription charges - these are recipes for disaster for the old, the sick and those on low incomes.
“Some or all of these cuts may be imposed in the Budget. What is certain is that the deliberate leaks from the meeting are designed to soften up public opinion in an effort to prepare people for the worst in the hope that cuts short of the worst may appear more palatable.
“This is all an effort to deceive the public by the Fine Gael/Labour Government who want people to believe that they have no choices in Budget 2012. That is a lie. Last month they made the choice to pay unguaranteed Anglo-Irish bank bondholders the same amount of money that was cut from the health services in 2011.
“People are not fooled by this. Health cuts must be resisted and I urge people to follow the example of the community in Abbeyleix and mobilise in support of our public health services.”