Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has said the health service is continuing to descend into chaos while Minister for Health Leo Varadkar sits idly by.
Deputy Fleming made the comments after the HSE published its latest ‘Health Service Performance Report’. The report highlights how the HSE is finding it increasingly difficult to provide adequate health care within the budget allocated to it by the Government.
“This latest HSE report makes it clear for all to see how the Government has failed to adequately resource the HSE for 2015. This is now a recurring problem in the health service that Minister Varadkar has once again failed to address” said Deputy Fleming.
“The report paints a bleak picture of the current state of finance within the health service. HSE management has rightly allocated additional money to manage the shortage of beds in our hospitals and to address the chaos in Emergency Departments across the country. This was predictable and should have been foreseen by Minister Varadkar. As a result the health service has once again been left short of sufficient funding. This is something which Minister Varadkar assured us would not happen when the Government unveiled the budget for 2015.
“Fianna Fáil has consistently pointed out how the current Government is deliberately misleading the public with its funding allocation for the health service. Minister Varadkar knew that the budget allocation for 2015 would fall well short of meeting the needs of sick patients in the health service.
“Following the last budget Minister Varadkar said the HSE service plan would deliver €130m in savings and another €10m as a result of increased income collection. None of these promises have come to fruition, mainly because of the increased demands on the health service which were forecasted by many including Fianna Fáil.
“In May alone over 3,500 patients were forced to wait on a trolley in an Emergency Department for over 24 hours. The taskforce established by Minister Varadkar last December to address this growing crisis in our health service has not been receiving enough financial support. It is unable to satisfy the medium to long term needs of the country’s hospitals in relation to step down beds and the Fair Deal Scheme.
“Minister Varadkar is quite adept at attending fancy campaign and press launches, but when it comes to addressing this issue he is gone AWOL. What we need is a more hands on approach from the Minister. He urgently needs to take action to ensure patients are not facing longer waiting times on trolleys or lengthy delays for outpatient appointments as we head into the autumn and winter months.
“The Minister needs to be held accountable for what is actually happening in the health service rather than just issuing comments and observations from the side-lines” concluded Deputy Fleming.