Varadkar and Lynch announcement a ‘Pre-Election Headline Grabbing Stunt’ - Ó Caoláin
The announcement this afternoon by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and his Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch of a 2016-2021 health capital allocation of €3.061 billion amounts to “little more than a pre-election headline grabbing stunt” stated Sinn Féin’s Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D.
Deputy Ó Caolain has pointed to the fact that much of what is involved has already been signalled, if not committed to, and the relatively small additional funding to be included for the provision of the overall package of projects is not being front loaded.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“Today’s announcement by Ministers Varadkar and Lynch must appear to the non-informed as substantial when in fact it amounts to little more than a pre-election headline grabbing stunt. Much of what is involved has already been signalled, if not already committed to. There is a relatively small additional sum of €568million. However, the greater slice of the overall sum involved is to kick-in in the later years of the six year programme, long after these ministers will have any say, let alone any accountability for their announcement.
“Nor is there any mention of additional capacity in their stated intent to ‘replace, upgrade and refurbish’ community based nursing units for older people and accommodation for people with disabilities. We urgently need increased capacity to cater for the needs of our ever increasing older citizen population and for those who have particular needs across all aspects of disability, including intellectual disability” stated Deputy Ó Caoláin.