Budget 2013 - Statement by IMO
Irish Medical Organisation

Budget 2013 - Statement by the Irish Medical Organisation

Statement by the Irish Medical Organisation

IMO President says impact of changes will be to “seriously corrode the fabric of the State’s Primary Care infrastructure.”

Threefold increase in prescription charges marks a shameful U-Turn by Minister O’Reilly

Wednesday 5th December 2012.  The Irish Medical Organisation has expressed its shock and disappointment at the health aspects of today’s budget.  The President of the IMO said that the impact of the changes would be to seriously corrode the fabric of the State’s primary care infrastructure.  

Speaking today the President of the IMO, Dr Paul McKeown,  said that budget changes would have a significant and damaging impact on frontline health services; “The threefold increase in prescription charges, the withdrawal of full medical cards from many elderly patients are particularly damaging.  In addition we believe that a further round of cuts in fees for GPs will force practices to restrict services   - increasing pressure on patients seeking care and help and putting further pressure on secondary care services.”

Dr. McKeown said that the IMO will consider the full details of the changes announced today over the coming days; “our focus has always been to try to protect patient services to the greatest extent possible.  Ironically this Government was elected on a commitment to improve the delivery of health services.  Their actions to date have had the direct opposite effect.”

The IMO has highlighted in particular the announced threefold increase in prescription charges (€0.50 to €1.50).  Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, said that the increase in prescription charges marked a “shameful” U Turn by the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly; “Until very recently Dr. Reilly was one of the sharpest critics of prescription charges – variously promising to review or abolish the charge – instead he’s presided over a threefold increase.  The result of this increase will be to discourage sick people from accessing medicines and again lead to increasing pressure and expense for patients and for the wider health services.”

Dr. McKeown did acknowledge the health benefits of the announced increases on excise duty for cigarettes and alcohol; “we support the move to increase excise duties in respect of cigarettes and alcohol which will help reduce demand for these harmful products to the benefit of the wider community.”

Ends

For further information contact:

Maria Murphy - Director of Communications & Public Affairs

Irish Medical Organisation

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