Irish Medical Organisation

IMO criticises remarks made today by Minister for Health

Wednesday 15th October 2014. The IMO has rejected criticism by the Minister for Health on Newstalk Breakfast this morning. The President of the IMO, Professor Duffy, said that the organisation stands over its calculations which suggest that there is no increase in health spending by the Exchequer for next year; “the budget does not represent an increase in Exchequer spending despite what the Minister might claim. The Minister is including funds which are not Exchequer funds in his figures - remove them and include the €600m budget overrun that we’ve experienced this year and you are looking at another budget reduction year on year for the year ahead. Effective expenditure for this year was €13.3bn versus €13.1bn.”

Professor Duffy rejected criticisms of the IMO stance by the Minister. He said that the Minster was “out of order” in questioning whether the IMO wanted the new Minister to succeed; “To be generous I would suggest the Minister was clumsy in his language but I know that many members would feel that there was more malice in it than that. Most people understand that Doctors and other professionals are the ones who are holding the service together. It’s the politicians who have overseen the current crisis in those services.”

Professor Duffy said that the IMO would not be deterred from representing its members and standing up for patients. He concluded “If the Minister hopes to create a coalition of forces to support him in his work, he needs to reconsider his approach and begin to repair fences rather than knock them down.”

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