Statement by Irish Medical Organisation responding to HSE €300m over budget
• IMO warns of financial crisis facing health services
• “We warned about this at the time of the budget and now it is coming to pass”
• Budget needs to be radically revised to reflect the demands on the service
Thursday 7th September 2017: The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned of a financial crisis facing the health services in the light of media reports that health spending is already €300 million over budget and the Department of Health is demanding that the budget is met.
Dr. Ann Hogan, President of the IMO said, “our health service is already running on empty financially and cannot endure any more cuts. It is now obvious from these latest reports of over-spending that there will be no respite from hospital overcrowding, increasing waiting lists, vacant consultant posts, emigration of doctors and under-resourced GP services. Confidence is at an all-time low. The IMO is calling for immediate action by the Department to increase resources and bring our health service back to life.”
Dr. Hogan said that health budget needs to be radically revised to reflect the demands on the service; “at the time of the last budget we made it very clear that the resources being put aside for health were too little and that this was a crisis in waiting...now it has come to pass. Year after year, we put too little into our health budget and then we are shocked that the budget targets are not met. The simple truth is that we need to put more resources into our health services so we can start tackling the problems of waiting lists, emigrating doctors and vacant consultant posts. Without adequate funding and fiscal management this simply won’t happen.”
Dr. Hogan went on to say “that it is not an explanation that budgetary over-runs are beyond the control of the HSE. What we need is a Health Service that is fit for purpose, funded adequately for our increasing population and changing demographics, where patients get good quality healthcare and doctors can deliver that healthcare in a well-run functioning system that is not controlled by insufficient funding and the need to meet unrealistic budgetary targets. It is extremely disappointing that we once again we find ourselves in this situation in the run up to the budget when no doubt every penny for the health service will once again be hard fought.”