Irish Medical Organisation

IMO President criticises diversion of money to National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF)

Putting public money put into the NTPF is no more than robbing public hospitals to invest in private ones

Thursday 19th January 2017.  The Irish Medical Organisation has criticised the allocation of €20 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the promise of an additional €50 million for the fund in 2018.  The commitments were detailed today by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD. The Minister was speaking at the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTFP) Symposium where he launched the Fund’s Strategy for 2017-2019

Speaking today, Dr. John Duddy, President of the IMO said that the allocation of public money to private hospitals removes vitally needed resources from public hospitals.  He said; “Health finance is a zero-sum game.  If the Minister gives money to private hospitals, he is doing so at the expense of public hospitals.  That might help the Government massage waiting list figures in the short term but it simply adds to the difficulty of sorting out our public hospitals in the medium to long term.”

Dr. Duddy also said he was disappointed to hear the Minister discuss plans to work more closely with the NTPF in 2017; “Successive Ministers have used the NTPF as a tool to massage figures and give the impression of action.  The reality is that it reflects a mindset which puts public hospitals behind private hospitals in the queue for scarce resources and ultimately only increases the difficulties facing every on the public health service.”

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