Has Government thrown in the towel on health?

Ivana Bacik TD
19 October 2023

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, Labour leader Ivana Bacik said Government seems to have thrown in the towel on tackling the health service.

Deputy Bacik said:

“Responding to my questioning during Leaders’ Questions today, the Tánaiste responded as if he was a by-stander in the health crisis. You’d almost forget that Fianna Fáil are holding the Health Ministry.

“The Health Budget as announced last week was nothing more than a work of fiction, a fantasy; not based on facts. It is addled with gaps and dodgy estimates.

“The Tánaiste could not give me a direct answer – who is running the health service, Minister Donnelly or Minister Donohue?

“Bernard Gloster, CEO of the HSE, has himself said the moneys allocated to the service are inadequate; that he will not be following Government’s plans. This is an explosive statement to make and is further evidence of the lack of Government oversight on health.

“Under this Government, more than 4,000 patients may be unable to access potentially life-saving medicines next year due to its decision not to provide dedicated funding for new medications.

“More than 6,000 people across the country are desperate for home care, due to a lack of carers.

“Almost 900,000 people languish on some form of waiting – over 100,000 of whom are children and young people.

“That’s before we mention that the cost of the Children’s Hospital is likely to rise to over €2 billion.

“The most galling thing of all is we don’t even know who is the author of this catastrophe. Is it the Minister for Health? Or the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform? The Tánaiste’s response to me today shows that even he doesn’t know.”

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