Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said there is a lack of detail on key issues in the government’s health reform agenda in the ‘Framework’ for the next three years published today.
Deputy Kelleher said: “There are serious omissions from Minister Reilly’s three-year framework for reform today. Amazingly, there is just one ‘action’ that relates to Universal Health Insurance, the cornerstone of the government’s health programme, and that says the White Paper will be produced next year. At that point the Government will be headed into its third year in office.
“Minister Reilly needs to explain why there are quite specific timelines for some items such as a framework for Health and Wellbeing by the end of Q4 2012 and a Programme Management Office in Q1 2013 but there is no date given in the document for legislation needed to extend Free GP Care. There is no timeline for the new GP contract and the pledge from the Programme for Government to reduce GP remuneration is nowhere to be seen.
“The Minister is prepared to commit to establishing a new quango in the form of a Health and Wellbeing agency despite its pre-election war on quangos but it seems unable to commit to a timeline for Universal Health Insurance.
“The government is already way behind on its schedule to introduce Universal Health Insurance and Free GP care. In fact it took the Minister an entire year to put together an Implementation Group to assist in drafting the White Paper.
“Today’s report is another stunning example of this Government commitment to spin over substance. Given how many explicit commitments Fine Gael and Labour have broken how can any of the reform pledge announced today be believed?”