Health “over-run” shows massive Budget cuts are unsustainable – Ó Caoláin
Commenting on the report that the HSE budget had an “over-run” of €280 million to the end of May, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said:
"It is no surprise that the HSE has exceeded its 2012 budget to this extent because, as we and many others have warned, the cuts imposed on health spending in Budget 2012 are simply unsustainable. Some €750 million was taken out of health in the last Budget and now Minister Howlin is predicting that the over-run for 2012 will be €500 million. €1 billion was taken out of health spending in 2011 and the Department of Health is talking about €2 billion up to 2014. This is totally unsustainable without devastating already struggling front line services.
"Any attempt, as reported, to target the €35 million allocation for mental health services this year would be scandalous and should be strongly resisted. Savings can be made by targeting the excessive salaries of the highest earners in the health sector and by reducing the cost of medicines, where little progress has been made. Overall, however, the crisis in health spending is a product of the failed austerity strategy of the coalition and will not be properly addressed until that strategy is changed."