Sláintecare dead in the water after Budget 2018
Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly has said that Budget 2018 has left Sláintecare dead in the water.
Deputy Kelly said:
“Following months of work, a 10 year fully costed plan to implement a publicly funded healthcare was published in May with cross party support. There was no mention of Sláintecare in the Budget today or implementing the first year of the programme which all in all is quite modest.
“In our Alternative Budget, Labour committed to funding the first year implementation of Sláintecare. What this would mean in practice is the removal of inpatient hospital charges and the reduction of prescription charges. It would expand the provision of home care packages and home help hours, increased services for people with disabilities and an extra €25 million for mental health in the first year.
“Instead of Sláintecare what we have seen is the Government pumping money into private healthcare services through the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
“I appreciate that in the case of individual patients, in certain parts of the country, the outcome of receiving treatment under the National Treatment Purchase Fund is positive, but there must be a major doubt as to whether the greater good is served by a system that allows us to spend more on private healthcare at the expense of investing in our public system.
“Rather than implementing tax cuts that will mean little more than a cup of coffee to the average worker, the Government could have been bold and ambitious when it comes to health, instead we have more of the same in healthcare.”