Government plan will devastate health services – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has said that the Service Plan for 2011 published by the HSE shows that the cuts being imposed as a result of the Budget are hugely damaging to the public health services and if the Government's four-year plan for cuts is carried out it will devastate those services.
“The HSE has now admitted that the real scale of cuts to the health services is higher than the 765 million euros announced in the Budget. It is now estimated at well over 900 million. The Service Plan for 2011 published by the HSE shows that these cuts are hugely damaging. The pressure on hospitals in particular will be immense. With 1500 public beds currently closed, this Plan will see many more closed in the months to come, resulting in people waiting longer for vital treatment.
“This greatly curtailed Service Plan comes as the Central Statistics Office highlights the gap in health and life expectancy between the wealthy and the poor in this society. That gap is now growing again as a direct result of Government policy, including health policy. 350 million euros could be saved for the health budget by capping the pay of ministers, top civil servants and semi-state executives at 100,000 euros per year. Yet the HSE Service Plan also co-incides with news that top executives in NAMA are receiving over 200,000 per annum in salaries.
“The cuts reflected in the HSE 2011 Service Plan, if carried through in subsequent budgets under the Government's four-year plan, will devastate the public health services. The incoming government must pledge to reverse these cuts.” ENDS