IMO responds to launch of HSE Service Plan for 2014 Plan amounts to an “austerity charter” for health services
Irish Medical Organisation

IMO responds to launch of HSE Service Plan for 2014 Plan amounts to an “austerity charter” for health services

“There is little doubt that we are facing into a new year with a budget for our health services that we all know is simply not adequate to provide the level of care necessary”

Wednesday 18th December 2013. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has launched a strong criticism of the HSE Service Plan for 2014 announced today. Speaking this morning, Dr. Matthew Sadlier, President of the IMO, said that the Service Plan amounted to an “austerity charter” for the Irish Health Services.

Key criticisms include:
• Targeting savings of over €600 million in the budget of the HSE at a time when the health services have consistently failed to live within bigger budgets promises chaos in the health services through 2014.

• Waiting lists will increase as a result of the cuts to services.

• The U-Turn made on expected savings from Medical Card Probity Test (down from €113m in budget to €23m now) undermines the HSE’s credibility on financial issues.

• The HSE is wrong to persist with plans to extend GP Visit Cards to all children under 6 at the same time as they are recalling them from older people who have depended on them for years.

• The failure to hire key staff to relieve critical stress points and the continued preference for hiring expensive locums over cheaper full time staff is bad financially and bad medically.

Dr. Sadlier also accused the HSE of a cynical attempt to stifle scrutiny of the plan by launching it in the midst of the week before Christmas.

Finally Dr. Sadlier that the HSE had no credibility that it could manage itself on this budget; “There is little doubt that we are facing into a new year with a budget for our health services that we all know is simply not adequate to provide the level of care necessary. It is past time that the Government takes responsibility for the provision of a safe and effective health service that allows frontline staff to deliver quality care.”

Ends

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