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HSE accounting blunder "shambolic" - Ó Caoláin

26 January, 2006


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said yesterday’s revelation of a massive accounting blunder by the Health Service Executive raises serious concerns about the health service governance of this state. Speaking in the Dáil today he accused the Government of using the HSE “as a shield to deflect criticism from itself over the rolling crisis in our public health services.”

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “The revelation yesterday of a massive accounting blunder by the Health Service Executive raises serious concerns about the health service governance of this state. It is shambolic to say the least. It is another blow for the credibility of this Government in its health policy and management, and for the credibility of the HSE, which was established with such fanfare.

“The Government has used the HSE as a shield to deflect criticism from itself over the rolling crisis in our public health services. Today that tactic has come back to haunt the Government which has used the HSE to reduce its own accountability to the Dáil on the health services.  

“We now have a situation, as exposed in reply to a Dáil Question I tabled last year, where nearly 46% of all Dáil Questions to the Minister for Health and Children are referred to the Health Service Executive. This figure compares to 30% referred to the health boards before the HSE was set up.

“Coming on top of the PPARs scandal this blunder further undermines public confidence. This is very dangerous at a time when the Government, in alliance with the private health business, is pursuing a privatisation strategy in our health services. There are those who will use blunders such as this to undermine the principle of public provision of healthcare. But that principle must be maintained because only public provision with equal access for all based on need alone can ensure decent health services.” ENDS

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