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Dublin/North East Service Plan attacks services and endangers patients – Ó Caoláin

15 February, 2012

Sinn Féin health and children spokesperson, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the HSE Regional Service Plan for Dublin/North East (Counties Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Dublin north of the Liffey) will attack public health services with massive cuts in 2012 and will endanger patients. The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:

“The Dublin/North East Regional Service Plan from the HSE is shocking in the extent of the cuts it imposes on public health services in this region. Cuts of €120.55 million are to be made in 2012 on top of the funding reduction €493.5 million between 2009 and this year.

“The plan reveals that this region will see 400 staff retiring at the end of February and that on top of this up to 561 more staff will ‘need to leave the service’ this year. That exodus of staff will be a devastating blow to health services across the board. And the plan states that these massive staff reductions will be needed ‘before any priority replacement staff are recruited’.

“We are threatened with 100-bed closures in acute hospitals across the Region and 105 long-term care bed closures. €71.3 million is being slashed from the hospitals budget.

“Across all key services there are massive cuts - €10 million from primary care (including cuts to out-of-hours GP services), €7.5 million from Older People Services (including reduced Home Help hours), €12.6 million from Disability Services (including 534 fewer respite nights), €7.92 million from Children and Family Services, €2 million from Social Inclusion Services and €500,000 from Palliative Care.

“These cuts come directly in the wake of cuts already imposed in January, including out-patient clinic reductions.

“The HSE Service Plan and the policies of this Fine Gael/Labour Coalition are attacking public health services in this region and across all HSE regions. This is austerity in action and this is what the Coalition and the Troika want us to sign up to for the next decade at least.

This Service Plan and the failed and toxic austerity policy which spawned it must be rejected.” ENDS

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