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FG/FF Agreement a blueprint for continued chaos in health – McDonald

4 May, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking at Leinster House this morning, Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the Agreement for government between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil published yesterday evening, as a “blueprint for continued chaos in the health service”.

Teachta McDonald said:

“The Agreement reached between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to maintain the status-quo and return Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, somehow the result of weeks of negotiations, is strong on soundbites but light on substance, no more so than in the area of healthcare.

“The Agreement does nothing more than enshrine a commitment to maintaining the chaos both parties have inflicted on health over their terms in office and the continuation of an unequal, two-tier, underfunded, crisis-ridden health service. 

“The document commits to ‘maintaining a humane approach for discretionary medical card provision’. The current approach is a far cry from humane, and Fianna Fáil candidates committed to introducing automatic medical cards for children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance. They should now clarify exactly what they mean by the continuation of a ‘humane’ approach. 

“A five year HSE service plan is a welcome initiative which Sinn Féin have called for, but the reality is that a 2:1 split between public spending and tax cuts for the wealthy means there won’t be adequate funding available to implement any such plan over the course of five years.

“The commitment in the Agreement to providing €15 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund to tackle waiting lists is also woefully inadequate to tackle the crisis of 500,000 citizens waiting for treatment at this time. 

“The reality is that both parties have no will to adequately address the problems in health, are both firmly committed to a two-tier health service to the detriment of patients and their joint Agreement for government is nothing more than a blueprint for continued chaos in the health service.”

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