IMO President calls for "step-change" in funding for health services in coming budget
Tuesday 29th September 2015. The President of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), Dr. Ray Walley, has called for a "step-change" in health service funding to commence in next month's budget.
Dr Walley said that we are now seeing daily headlines about the problems in our health services; problems for patients and for doctors attempting to deliver a service in an environment where there are wholly inadequate resources. While efforts to allocate more funding on a piece-meal basis are to be welcomed we must accept that it is simply not enough to make any tangible difference in service improvements. He said; 'until we get real about how much it takes to fund our public health services we are going to be in a continuing cycle of crisis in our Emergency Departments, in outpatient waiting list times, in the numbers of beds across the system and in General Practice."
Dr. Walley said that recent opinion polls have clearly demonstrated that the public want the Government to increase spending on the health services and after years of austerity, a significant injection of funds is necessary to relieve pressure and tackle a growing list of crises.
Dr. Walley also criticised comments by the Minister for Health on the Late Late Show on last Friday evening last where he (the Minister) dismissed warnings from the IMO about overcrowding in hospitals. The Minister said that the warning was "over the top" and people within the health services should not be fuelling negative stories. Dr. Walley said; "our warnings are voiced out of concern for the damage being done to the fabric of the health services and out of real concern that lives are now at risk as a result of overcrowding in hospitals. We've had a horrendous few years in the health services and we now must invest to begin to address the damage done after years of cutbacks."