Co-location must be stopped before it’s too late – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health & Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for the private for-profit hospital co-location scheme to be stopped before it is too late. He was speaking ahead of a private members debate on this issue in the Dáil this evening as the four Sinn Féin TDs sought the adjournment of the Dáil to demand a halt to the scheme and as patient and community groups highlighted the fraud carried out by the US parent corporations of private healthcare companies benefiting from Government money in this State.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The Fianna Fáil/PD/Green Government has signalled its intention to plough on with its disastrous private for-profit hospital co-location scheme. This plan must be stopped before it is too late. It is the biggest single step towards the privatisation of our public health services. It has met with widespread opposition both from within the health services and from the wider public.
"I welcome the efforts of patient and community groups who have today highlighted the fraud carried out by the US parent corporations of private healthcare companies benefiting from Government money in this State. These companies are lining up to benefit from the co-location scheme. They have also been given lucrative HSE contracts for cancer screening and cancer care.
"At the heart of this Government's policy is a glaring contradiction. On one hand they are removing services from local public hospitals on the spurious basis that they do not have the 'critical mass' of patients to sustain them. On the other hand they are giving tax subsides and access to land to private hospitals to provide services on a for-profit basis.
"The co-location plan is being carried through by means of coercion. The Board of Tallaght Hospital was presented with an ultimatum - accept co-location or else go without the additional beds you need. This is an outrage. Sinn Féin TDs will today and everyday continue to oppose this plan and the privatisation of our health services." ENDS