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Government Health Strategy in disarray

23 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD, has said the Government's health strategy is in disarray following revelations that essential investment in promised primary care and mental health facilities is to be deferred for up to three years.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"The development of primary care is a cornerstone of the Government's Health Strategy yet little or no progress has been made since this Government was re-elected in 2002. Now we learn that essential investment is to be delayed for a further three years. The Minister must immediately clarify how he proposes to deliver the Primary Care commitments in the Health Strategy. Primary care is the first and most important point of contact with the health services. The Minister has staked his credibility on its delivery.

"It will be equally scandalous if essential investment in our disgracefully neglected mental health services is again postponed. This State has been condemned by the UN, the EU and Amnesty International for its neglect of the mentally ill.

"The Minister should tell us now if these reports are confirmed." ENDS

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