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Government warned about health budget shortfall last October - Louise O'Reilly TD

22 January, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin’s Health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly, has said that she and Deputy Pearse Doherty warned the Government last October that their funding of the health service in Budget ’18 was inadequate and risked creating the potential €881m funding crisis it now faces into 2018.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The news that the HSE has warned the Government of a potential €881m funding crisis in 2018 may come as a shock to some in Fine Gael, but many foresaw this since the day Budget ’18 was announced.

“On the 25th October last year, while debating the Finance Bill and Budget ‘18 in the Dáil, I said that the biggest failure of the budget was 'the absolute and utter failure to tackle the crisis in our health service'.

“Similarly, on budget day my colleague Deputy Pearse Doherty also forewarned of the potential for this funding crisis when he said that the Government, along with its backers in Fianna Fáil, chose to leave the health system short of the money that is needed for it to even stand still.

 “This was the prelude to the HSE warning the Minister for Health privately that it could face an unprecedented financial shortfall of up to €881 million this year.

“The Government was warned that the health system would be in worse shape at budget time next year as a consequence of the measures the Minister has brought before in Budget ‘18. However, it appears that they are numerically illiterate when it comes to health budget.

“The HSE and the Department of Health need to meet immediately to assess how this situation can be resolved or else we will be facing into an even greater crisis later in the year.

“It is also of the utmost importance that officials from the Department of Health and the HSE make themselves available to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health to explain this situation and answer questions from TDs and Senators."

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