IMO responds to HSE service plan for next year
The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that trolley numbers, waiting lists and quality levels across the health service will all deteriorate next year despite an apparent rise in health spending under the National Service Plan for 2018 published by the HSE today.
The President of the IMO, Dr. Ann Hogan, criticised the presentation of the plan for focussing on amounts being budgeted for various activities whereas the real challenge was to measure that proposed spend against the rapidly rising levels of demand; “A service plan should detail how the HSE proposes to meet the rising demand for essential health services not try to distract the public by focussing on the amounts of money it proposes to spend. The reality is that the budget set aside for health next year will not cover existing demand levels not to mind address the gap in crucial services between demand and supply.” Dr. Hogan said it was particularly significant that the HSE itself had acknowledged that there would be significant challenges in meeting service demands next year.
Dr. Hogan drew particular attention to the “derisory” increase of €25 million in primary care to support the GP contract, GP training, diagnostics, therapies, nursing, Advanced Nurse Practitioner appointments and community nursing.
Dr. Hogan called for a public debate about the gap between what was being proposed to be spent and what was demanded to provide a reasonable level of health services for a modern country.
Dr. Hogan said that the IMO would continue to campaign for increased resources for health services through the year ahead.