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Money wasted on PPARS would pay for over 204,000 medical cards for a full year

13 December, 2005

Commenting on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the PPARS computer system in the health services, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin said:

"The C&AG Report highlights the massive waste of public money on the bungled PPARS system. The bill rose from the original estimate of €9.1 million to a projected cost of €195 million to the end of next year. This project has enriched consultants and others with no resultant savings or greater efficiencies for the health services. On the contrary, the bungled system has set back progress towards integrated health services.

"Successive Ministers for Health and Children must accept responsibility for this fiasco.

"In reply to my Dáil Question last month, the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney gave the average annual cost of medical card health service entitlements as €954.62 per person. The €195,000,000 wasted on PPARS would pay for medical card services for over 204,000 people for a full year. Before the last General Election this government promised to extend the medical card to a further 200,000 people. They duly broke that promise as they continued to allow public money to be poured down the drain, enriching private businesses while public patients suffered.” ENDS

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