Fianna Fáil’s Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD says a new report commissioned by the HSE’s Director General endorses his party’s criticism of recent health budgets. The study noted that the cost of the Government’s planned health reforms have never been estimated so could not be factored into budget allocations. It also raised questions about the reduction in staff numbers in the health service, claiming this policy will not result in the delivery of required savings.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “This report will make for extremely uncomfortable reading for the Health Minister and the Taoiseach. It has essentially ripped this Government’s health strategy apart and highlighted the deficiencies in its various policies. What’s more, it supports the concerns that I and my party have been expressing with regard to patient safety.
“Former Minister James Reilly brought forward three untenable health budgets, which have wreaked havoc throughout the system. There’s been a dramatic increase in waiting lists, widespread bed closures and extensive service cuts. The patient is bearing the brunt of this Government’s haphazard estimates.
“€200m is being slashed from hospital budgets this year, placing additional pressure on an already stretched system. The Minister’s back of the envelope budget calculations have resulted in savage cutbacks which have depleted the health service of staff and resources. Minister Varadkar cannot continue with this botched approach without further undermining services and putting lives at risk.
“This unpublished report is scathing in its assessment of the way in which the health service has been handled, and further supports Fianna Fáil’s criticism of the Minister’s mismanagement of the budgets to date”.