Kerry Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil has said that he is extremely concerned about patient safety at Kerry General Hospital following confirmation from the HSE about its budgeting plan for 2017

Deputy Brassil was commenting after receiving a parliamentary reply from the HSE on the use of the Activity Based Finding model in the hospital.

“Quite simply, the reply I received was a bombshell. Based on current projections there is a gap of €5.6m between projected spending and expected income”, he said.

The General Manager of the hospital said that as a result of having to make savings in the region of €5.6m, ‘it would clearly have a significant effect on service delivery and will potentially give rise to significant clinical risk.’

“The need to find savings from the non-pay elements of the hospital’s budget will, I believe, put lives at risk.

“The transition from the current (Rolled over Base) model to the Activity Based Model of funding is clearly leaving substantial shortfalls and a transitional fund is needed to bridge the gap and avoid reductions in service delivery.

“How is it possible that despite supposed increases in the overall HSE budget, hospitals are being forced to make decisions that could jeopardise patient safety?

“It’s clear that the current budget doesn’t match the clinical need of the hospital.

“Minister Harris needs to step in, and explain how he will bridge the gap in the hospital’s finances. Any risk to patient safety, once identified, cannot be allowed to continue,” concluded Deputy Brassil.