Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said he was astonished to read of the attack by HSE boss Tony O’Brien on hospitals that complained of a lack of funding.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “This is the same HSE boss who last year warned the Government that a failure to provide funding for its key proposals this year could be contrary to the best interests of patients.

“In a formal submission the Department of Health last September, the HSE said it anticipated needing €545 million for the ‘delivery of a sustainable and safe level of service and in order to provide for known and unavoidable pressures, demographic requirements, critical care priorities, [commitments in the] Programme for Government and service developments and quality initiatives’.

“It’s not good enough for the HSE boss to attempt to attack on hospital chiefs for speaking out on lack of funding while he knows full well that the funding is not in place to provide a safe level of service.

“The fact is that the 2014 HSE Service Plan provides for reduced inpatient and day care in acute hospitals. I do not believe the HSE is entitled to complain when people working in hospitals highlight the problems they are experiencing.”