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Two tier health care for cancer patients unacceptable - Louise O'Reilly TD

14 April, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said an article in the Sunday Business Post lays bare how extreme the two tier health system in this State has become.

The story tells us that for the first time ever, private patients will get access to cancer drugs denied to public patients.

Teachta O’Reilly has said:

“The news that private patients will have access to a cancer drugs pembrolizumab and nivolumab which have been denied to patients in the public system shows just how far and unfair the two tier healthcare divide has become in this State.

“It is grossly unfair that pembrolizumab and nivolumab are being denied to patients in the public system while those with the means to pay can access them privately.

"This state of affairs sets a very damning precedent for the public health system and is an indictment of those politicians funding and running health.

"The public drug approvals process has hit a brick wall over the past number of years as the HSE drugs budget for new medicines has been been completely underfunded.

"It is political decisions that have caused this. The underfunding of the HSE budget for new medicines means that the HSE can’t approve drugs which it would normally fund and has funded in previous years.

"This situation completely undermines the public health service and makes a mockery of Sláintecare which has a focus on the elimination of the subsidy for private healthcare.

"The public health system is crumbling under mismanagement and a lack of funding and we have seen how the public-private divide in the health service is growing.

"This unfairness also has echoes of the recent revelations that women in the public system are left waiting for results of smear tests for up to 33 weeks while those who can pay get their results back in 3 weeks.  

"This is not an accident, it is the outworking of government policy."

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