Government must abolish inpatient and parking charges for all public patients - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health and the Government to go further in reducing the cost of healthcare for public patients.
Teachta Cullinane said that the limited abolition of hospital inpatient charges for children announced today is welcome but that Government must abolish inpatient and parking charges for all public patients.
He also said that the Government has been dragging its feet on reducing the cost of healthcare with half-measures and has failed to secure expanded free GP care for children which was budgeted for nearly two years ago.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The limited abolition of hospital inpatient charges for children is welcome but it is yet another half-measure from Government which will have a limited impact on the cost of healthcare.
“The Government must abolish inpatient and parking charges for all public patients and ensure this funding is replaced for hospitals that need it, as Sinn Féin provided for in our alternative budgets.
“The Government has been dragging its feet on reducing the cost of healthcare and needs to do far more.
“It will soon be two years since the Government budgeted and legislated for free GP care for children aged six and seven, but they have made no progress on this.
“We do not have enough doctors and practice nurses, yet Government has failed to negotiate a new contract, put in place supports for expanding free GP care, and to radically train more doctors and nurses.
“The Department of Health has not yet modelled the cost and workforce requirements for universal healthcare and free GP care, despite Sláintecare commitments to have this in place by the end of the year.
“The Minister is only tinkering around the edges, as with minor changes to the Dental treatment scheme, but has no plan for achieving free GP care, universal primary care, or for moving to a single-tier National Health Service.
“These are the real measures that will reduce the cost of healthcare for workers and families to make healthcare truly accessible and affordable.”