Primary care plan is vague and minimalist – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Fein health spokesperson, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has described the health element of the government’s so-called ‘stimulus’ announcements as “vague, over-complicated and minimalist”.
“Health Minister James Reilly has contributed to the spin of the government’s so-called ‘stimulus’ announcements by listing 35 locations, 20 of which will be selected for development of Primary Care Centres. The basis for the selection of 35 locations is unclear as is the rationale for their reduction to 20 that will be actually commissioned.
“This vague, over-complicated process, involving public-private partnerships which are poor value for public money, is minimalist in terms of the actual need for primary care.
“At the end of 2011 there were less than 400 Primary Care Teams established across the state – even though the need for 600 such teams was identified as far back as 2001.
“In February 2010 the current Health Minister James Reilly was a member of the Oireachtas Health & Children Committee which published a key report on Primary Care. Today’s announcement falls far short of that report’s recommendations. In fact it deserves the response to the last government contained in Fine Gael’s Fair Care document – ‘We are concerned that the government has been exaggerating the effectiveness of its strategy’.