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HSE Service Plan for 2017 reflective of a health service in a state of perpetual crisis- Louise O’Reilly TD

14 December, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the HSE Service plan for 2017, published today, is reflective of a health service in a state of perpetual crisis.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Deputy O’Reilly said;

“The details contained within the HSE Service Plan for 2017 are extremely disappointing and reflective of a health service which finds itself in a perpetual state of crisis due to the government’s destructive policies.

“The plan, published today, is a classic example of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The plan will deliver nothing but the continuation of the chaos in our hospitals and the inequality that  permeates through the wider system. This is made all the more worrying by the fact that there are 536 people lying on trolleys in hospitals today. 541 people were in the same circumstances yesterday. There is nothing in this plan to convince me that the dire situation in our A&Es will be addressed in any meaningful way in 2017.

“Furthermore, there is a glaring failure to put in place a comprehensive plan to ensure the implementation of the maternity strategy.

“There is a section dedicated to the workforce but it doesn't contain anything new. The public health service is creaking due to chronic underinvestment and a pressing need to recruit more frontline medical staff. The HSE service plan for 2017 ignores that grave reality.

“€20 million is being allocated to the National Treatment Purchase Fund.  The outsourcing of the problem is not a long term solution and privatising more healthcare is not the answer. Very little in this plan would move me from my view that Minister Harris sees the waiting list crisis as a Trojan Horse for delivering even further privatisation of our health service.

“The expected level of service activity for 2017 is extremely low. I now have very real concerns that the public health service will reach absolute breaking-point toward the middle of next year.

“The failures and shortcomings in this plan are a direct result of the creeping privatisation of our health service - an approach being fostered by Fine Gael since they entered government in 2011.

“We need to see targeted investment in our health service. This should be supported by fair and progressive taxation. This principle needs to be embraced by government in order to tackle the crisis head-on and to deliver the changes that are so badly needed by patients.”

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