Health Service Plan spells misery for 2012 – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the HSE National Service Plan spells misery for health service users and staff in 2012. He accused Health Minister James Reilly of making an elaborate show of tinkering with a plan that is based on the savage Budget 2012 cuts which to which he signed up.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“This HSE National Service Plan implements the savage cuts to health spending imposed in the Fine Gael/Labour Government’s Budget 2012. The plan spells misery in 2012 for people who use our health services and the staff who have to deliver those services.
“The budget reduction of €750 million comes after the €1 billion reduction in 2011. Health Minister James Reilly’s claim that front-line services can be preserved through greater efficiency is contradicted by the Plan which states that ‘the bulk of the reductions that the HSE is required to deliver in 2012 will impact increasingly directly on frontline services’.
“We face the loss of nearly 600 beds in public nursing homes – a devastating blow. I am certain that communities will increasingly resist these cuts of beds and threatened closures of homes across this State.
“The Service Plan confirms the projected departure of 3,000 staff from the health services in 2012 and states that the Plan itself will have to be reviewed later in the year depending on the numberss going – in other words more cuts.
“Again the Plan contradicts the Minister’s repeated assurances that front-line care can be protected when it says that ‘efficiencies will not compensate for the loss of frontline healthcare delivery staff in such large numbers’.
“Over Christmas Health Minister James Reilly made an elaborate show of tinkering with a Service Plan that is based on the savage Budget 2012 cuts which to which he signed up. The Plan is every bit as bad as signalled and he and his Cabinet colleagues bear full responsibility
“This Plan confirms that the health and welfare of the Irish people is to be sacrificed by the Fine Gael and Labour Government in pursuit of a failed economic strategy that is destroying public services, employment and economic growth.” ENDS