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Administrative changes won’t soften impact of savage cuts – Ó Caoláin

21 December, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the administrative changes in the HSE announced by the Health Minister James Reilly will do nothing to soften the impact of the drastic cuts imposed on the health services by Budget 2012.

He said:

“The Cabinet waited until the Dáil was in recess to announce with great fanfare further administrative changes at the top of the HSE. These changes may or may not reduce bureaucracy – we have not been given enough information to tell yet – but they will certainly do nothing to soften the impact of the drastic cuts to health services imposed in Budget 2012 by Minister Reilly and his Fine Gael/Labour colleagues.

“The bottom line is this – a billion euros was cut from the health budget for 2011 by Fianna Fáil and over half a billion for 2012 by Fine Gael and Labour. Unless funding is restored these HSE changes will amount to little or nothing.

“These changes have been described as a further step to health reform. But in answer to Dáil Questions from Sinn Féin, Minister Reilly has said that even the promised white paper on financing universal health insurance will not be published for maybe three or four years.

“The Minister announced no plans to cap salaries for HSE directors at €100,000. There are 110 senior managers in the HSE earning over €100,000 per annum. Will the number of managers on this salary be reduced? This is one of the reasons why the Minister should have made his latest announcement in the Dáil so he could be questioned on this and other matters. Where is the accountability he promised?” ENDS

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