Fianna Fáil ‘has nothing to offer on health’ – O’Reilly
Speaking this afternoon following Fianna Fáil’s announcement of their positions and proposals for the coming Budget, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that Fianna Fáil have ‘absolutely nothing’ to offer on health.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“This morning, at the great charade that is Fianna Fail’s budget proposals launch, Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Barry Cowen, announced the party’s proposals for health, which unsurprisingly amounted to absolutely nothing.
“On the issue of the health ‘overspend’, what was articulated can only be described as gibberish.
“Deputy Cowen said ‘We hear of overspending in the area of health. That doesn’t materialise in the minds of those that we represent and they don’t see that being delivered on the ground, despite the best will and intentions of everybody concerned and the workface contained therein’.
“Like many, I was utterly confused as to what I had heard and what it meant but, one thing is for sure, we did not hear a commitment that Fianna Fáil has any interest in addressing the health ‘overspend’.
“Their commitments on health amount to a few loose points, one of which is the transfer of public money, tax payer’s money, into the pockets of private hospitals through via the NTPF.
“The NTPF is short term populism, unlike Sláintecare which is a long term vision.
“As Sara Burke of the Centre for Health Policy and Management in Trinity College has pointed out – ‘over a decade of pouring hundreds of millions into the NTPF is proof it does not address the underlying causes of the long waits for public patients in the first place’.
“The indication that Fianna Fáil have given today is that they will not invest enough funding in health to cover the ‘overspend’ of €600m and also invest additional funding for new services and for the implementation of Sláintecare which is €396m.
“Sinn Féin have shown that the funding can be raised to be invested in the health service and we have shown in our Alternative Budget 2019 how we would raise and invest €1.067 billion in the health service in order to cover the ‘overspend’, invest in new services, and begin the full implementation of Sláintecare.
“We will see on Budget day if Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are really committed to Sláintecare.”