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Cuts at University Hospital Waterford will impact on front line services – Cullinane

20 May, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford Deputy David Cullinane has said proposed cost saving measures amounting to €10m at University Hospital Waterford will impact on front line services. 

UHW are finalizing plans to save €10m as part of a cost containment plan. This is in response to a memorandum sent to all Hospital managers by the Director General of the HSE advising hospitals to come in on budget. 

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

“Management at University Hospital Waterford have confirmed that they need to make savings of 5% this year to come in on budget. The current annual budget is €190m. This, quite simply, is cuts dressed up as cost savings. 

“The number of patients presenting to UHW is increasing year on year. This is due to an aging demographic and a growing population. Starving UHW of the funding it needs and then threatening to penalize the hospital for treating too many patients is wrong and is a false economy. It is Fine Gael politics at its worst. 

“Hospital management are seeking to save money by doing fewer elective surgeries. They are also looking at cutting overtime and employing less agency staff. While I have no difficulty in eliminating wasteful spending, I do have difficulty in reducing elective procedures and employing less front line staff. This will undoubtedly result in higher wait times. 

“The people of Waterford and the Southeast do not need spin. Dressing up cuts as cost savings is disingenuous. Treating less patients because of funding is wrong and should not be tolerated. We need to achieve savings where possible, but we also need to properly fund acute hospitals like UHW to ensure patients are treated safely and fairly.” 

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