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HSE putting cart before horse with plans to reward hospitals for high performance - Ó Caoláin

14 August, 2006


Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the only way to end the crisis in the country's accident and emergency departments is to invest public money in public hospitals. Deputy Ó Caoláin said the HSE's plan to reward hospitals for high performance as an incentive for improvement is a like putting the cart before the horse and is a ridiculous concept.

He said, "The reality is that many hospitals are already working at their maximum capacity and the only way they are going to meet the conditions set out by the HSE is if they receive extra funding. However, the HSE say they will only receive the extra funding when they meet their targets. This is a ridiculous concept and is like putting the cart before the horse. It shouldn't even be considered. This scheme, if it goes ahead, will only benefit those hospitals which are already doing well and which do not have the same level of urgency in their requirements as many other struggling hospitals.

"The HSE actually admit that this plan is not aimed at tackling the accident and emergency crisis but rather to reward those which had already made progress in this area. However, another feature of this plan has seen some hospitals being punished for failing to meet the standards set out by the HSE which has done nothing but add to the crisis.

"The only way to solve the crisis in our accident and emergency departments is to invest public money in public hospitals. Public money and land that has been allocated for the private health sector should be retracted and redirected into the public system." ENDS

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