Fianna Fáil is urging the Oireachtas Committee on Health to examine the full impact of the €5m budget cuts to the two main children’s hospitals this year.
Funding for Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin has been cut by €3.39m while the budget for Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street has been reduced by €1.59m.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher commented: “In light of the government’s commitment to progress the building of the new National Paediatric Hospital it makes no sense to slash funding for the two biggest children’s hospitals in the country. The delay to the project from planning setbacks already means that the existing hospitals will require some upgrading until the new hospital is completed.
“While I welcome the fact that there have been marginal increases in the budgets for the Coombe, Holles Street and Tallaght Hospital taking €5m out of the budget for the two main hospitals dealing with critically ill children is another example of Minister Reilly dysfunctional management.
“It is becoming clearer with every day that the government’s health priorities lack any consistency and strategy.
“I will be raising this matter with the Chairman of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Deputy Jerry Buttimer, and asking him to consider inviting Lorcan Birthistle, the chief executive of Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin and Mona Baker, the chief executive of Temple Street to come before the committee. I believe it would be important for members to hear and assess the impact these budget cuts will have on services this year as well as any potential impact on planning for the new National Paediatric Hospital.”