Government showing more spin than substance on health- Kelly

13 October 2017

Labour Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said the Government is once more demonstrating spin over substance when it comes to its commitment on Sláintecare.

It follows media reports that today’s Cabinet meeting in Cork will focus on the ten-year plan for the health service, despite no mention of Sláintecare in Tuesday’s Budget.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Tuesday’s Budget provided a real opportunity for Government to show it is truly committed to reforming our health service.

“Instead it chose to completely disregard the funding plans for Sláintecare as recommended by an all-party committee- including Fine Gael- just five months ago.

“In its place we saw Government prioritise investment in the private sector via the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

“While I appreciate that this can provide short-term results for individual patients in certain parts of the country, focusing investment on the private sector like this deprives us of the ability to begin genuinely building our publicly-funded health service.

“In our Alternative Budget, we costed the various elements that were supposed to be introduced in 2018.

“In contrast, the Government’s allocation of €25 million for primary care and just setting up an office will do nothing to implement Sláintecare.

“In light of this, I’m sure many will be sceptical at reports today that health service reform will top the agenda at today’s Cabinet meeting, just three days after Budget 2018 made no reference to Sláintecare whatsoever.

“The Government should have put its money where its mouth is in Tuesday’s Budget and actually set about implementing this report.”

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