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Ó Caoláin expressed concern at HSE negotiations

22 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has expressed concern that the Health Service Executive in its negotiations with representatives of hospital consultants has signalled its willingness to allow consultants on public hospital contracts to work more hours in the private sector.


The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: “Under the Government’s Health Strategy the purpose of a new contract with consultants is to ensure ‘greater equity’ for public patients in our hospital system. I welcome the prospect of abolition of ‘Category 2’ contracts which allow consultants who treat public patients in public hospitals to also work in private hospitals for personal profit. The HSE  must maintain its position on this issue.


“However I am concerned at the statement of HSE Chief Brendan Drumm that the HSE is prepared to offer contracted consultants more hours to treat private patients in public hospitals. This will reinforce the two-tier health system with its two waiting lists and faster access to consultants for those who can afford to pay.


“It is a disgrace that these negotiations have dragged on for so long. The new contract was promised over five years ago and has still not been delivered. We still do not have equity in the system. The only guarantee of equity is a fully public system with equal access for all regardless of ability to pay and with consultants working in the public system only.”



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