Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has responded to media reports that the HSE is warning Government that the Health Service could face a potential cash shortfall of €532m this year.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “While it would be too early to make any conclusions on the full financial outturn for the year, what this morning’s story proves very clearly is the point Fianna Fáil have been making for some time – that the Health Budget negotiated by Minister James Reilly is simply not fit for purpose. It was unrealistic to begin with, was based on flaky assumptions and flakier targets, and was cobbled together to get Minister Reilly through a short term problem with no thought for the longer term implications.
“It is those longer term implications that I am now concerned about. Patients must not be forced to bear the brunt of James Reilly’s mismanagement and inability to fight his corner for proper resources. What we need now is not the usual FG -v-Labour routine of off-the-record briefings and anonymous sniping about James Reilly’s performance. What we need is a proper reappraisal of the health budget and reassurance from Government that budget issues will not be allowed to impact on front line services.”