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Taoiseach trying to deceive the people on massive health cuts – Ó Caoláin

8 February, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

The Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Health Minister James Reilly are trying to hide the real impact of the massive loss of staff from the health system and the resulting cuts to services.

He said the huge impact on mental health services as revealed by the Psychiatric Nurses Association is a case in point.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“We now know that nearly 4,000 people will have retired from the health services from September last to the end of this month. This is a massive loss of numbers, skills and experiences from our public health system. It has been done in an unplanned and untargeted manner and there is no contingency plan to deal with it.

“In the Dáil today the Taoiseach Enda Kenny tried to deceive the people about the impact of these staff losses and cuts. His Health Minister James Reilly is trying to do the same.

“The reality is that these are cost cutting measures and the numbers of staff and the services they provide are not going to be replaced at the same level we have seen up to now. It means reductions in front-line workers and in front-line services all round.

“The Psychiatric Nurses Association has revealed today that some 400 front-line staff are to retire from mental health services before the end of February. These services are already under massive strain. In one HSE area 17 people requested admission to in-patient mental healthcare over Christmas and all were refused, one of whom later died by suicide.

“The Taoiseach and the Minister should stop trying to deceive the public. They should recognise that these savage cuts are costing lives and they should begin the process of reversing them now.”

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