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Co-location set to cause another rip-off for taxpayers - Ó Caoláin  

18 June, 2007

The co-location of private for-profit hospitals on public hospital sites is set to cause another rip-off for taxpayers, according to Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. He was responding to news that the Health Service Executive may have to compensate consultants for the transfer of their private beds from public hospitals to the new co-located private hospitals.


The Sinn Féin Dáil leader stated:


“It has emerged that in 2005 the Department of Health instructed the HSE to accept proposals for co-located hospitals only where hospital consultants accepted that they would not be compensated for the transfer of their private beds from public to co-located private hospitals. We now learn that the HSE has told the Department that it cannot meet this requirement but the Department still gave the go-ahead for the invitations to tender.


“This opens the prospect of another rip-off for taxpayers. If this is not tied down as a matter of urgency the State will end up paying consultants for the removal of private beds from public hospitals to private for-profit hospitals. As well as giving tax breaks and access to prime sites to these privateers, the taxpayer would be paying massive ‘disturbance money’.


“The Minister for Health & Children should immediately rule out any such further giveaway to the private health business.


“The inclusion of co-location in the new Programme for Government means that the campaign against co-location and health service privatisation must go on.” ENDS


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