Irish Medical Organisation

The Future of Healthcare Briefing 6th October

The IMO held a Special Briefing for TDs and Senators on the Future of Healthcare on Thursday 6th October in Buswells Hotel, Dublin.

IMO Pre Budget Submission.

Dr. John Duddy, IMO President said –

“We have 8 key budget recommendations and each of them requires more spending.† Enough is enough.† It’s health’s time.† It’s time to invest and to improve our health services after years of austerity.”

New GP contract, Increase number of hospital beds and start taxing sugar sweetened drinks among key demands.

Thursday 6th October 2016.† The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that the coming budget must see a substantial increase in resources to address serious infrastructural problems across the health services.† Speaking at the launch of the IMO’s Pre Budget Submission, Dr. John Duddy, President of the IMO said “We have 8 key budget recommendations and each of them requires more spending.†† But enough is enough.† It’s health’s time. It’s time to invest and improve our health services after years of austerity.”

In the submission the IMO has set out 8 key recommendations covering areas from General Practice, to capacity issues in the public health services to mental health to increasing taxes on sugar sweetened drinks, alcohol and tobacco. The IMO says that the forthcoming budget provides an opportunity to identify priorities on the journey towards Universal Healthcare which guarantees access to adequate, quality healthcare to all when they need it and at an affordable cost.

Dr. Duddy said; “it’s hard to overstate the level of damage inflicted on our health services through the recession.† GP services are on their knees, physical infrastructure is at breaking point, there’s a major problem with bed capacity, hospitals are operating above internationally recognised safety-thresholds and across the profession doctors are emigrating in ever increasing numbers.”

Dr. Duddy warned the Government not to hide behind its much vaunted 10-year strategy planning agenda; “10-year planning is all well and good but health can’t wait for 10 years.† It needs help now.”

Key recommendations in the Pre-Budget Submission include:

Funding for a new GP Contract with focus on extending range of services.

Immediate reversal of FEMPI cuts to General Practice.

Immediate and significant planned increase in number of acute beds in the Public System.

Commit appropriate resources to mental health.

Abolition of prescription charges for GMS patients and a reduction in the threshold for reimbursement under the Drugs Payment Scheme.

Funding for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) should be diverted to support elective care in the public system.

Introduction immediately of a sugar-tax with proceeds to be ring-fenced to support obesity programmes.

Urgent enactment of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing and a levy on the alcohol industry for the treatment of alcohol related harm.

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