Irish Medical Organisation

IMO says #Budget2018 - deeply disappointing and regressive

IMO says #Budget2018 – deeply disappointing and regressive

“The claim that this is the biggest health budget ever is nothing but Spin and Fake News ….this budget won’t even keep pace with rising health demands and our health crisis will worsen”

What we and all our patients experience as a CRISIS in our health services is now the new norm and on foot of this Budget services and patient experiences will deteriorate

Tuesday 10th October 2017.   The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has described today’s budget as “deeply disappointing and regressive from a health perspective”. Dr. Hogan ridiculed claims that the health budget was the biggest in the history of the State; “that is nothing but spin and fake news.  The reality is that our spending on public health services has not kept pace with either rising demands or the increase in population of our patients over 65. Everyone knows that the health budget for the coming year will not even keep pace with health demands and the various crises afflicting the health services will worsen over the coming year.  What we now know as a crisis in our health services will become the new norm and we still wait for our Government to make meaningful investment.” 

Dr. Hogan warned that as a result of Budget18:

•       Waiting lists will lengthen even above the shameful level of almost 700,000

•       hospitals will continue to operate in the overcrowded “death zone” they are stuck in and trollies counts will rise above 500 on a regular basis

•       GP services will be even more overwhelmed and will only be able to deliver the most acute of services due to lack of resources and unsustainable costs

•       And doctors will continue to emigrate in droves rather than work in a service which is increasingly not fit for purpose.

Dr. Hogan also criticised the lack of ambition for the much-heralded transformation of the delivery of our health services and the move to GP Led Primary Care; “The funding allocated is so woefully inadequate as to make it impossible for any significant development in terms of a new GP Contract or new services for patients.    An opportunity has been missed, again – it is inevitable that General Practice will see waiting lists and greater referrals to the secondary care system as GPs are unable to cope with the demand and the complexity of care without adequate resources.”

On the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), the IMO has criticised the increased allocation of scarce resources into what is essentially the private sector fund at the expense of increasing resources for public hospitals.  Dr. Hogan said; “at best the NTPF is a sticking plaster solution but at worse it is undermining any investment in our public services where elective surgery is cancelled on an increasingly regular basis due to overcrowding in our hospitals.”

Dr. Hogan also criticised the fact that this budget makes no allocation for a much needed increase in bed capacity in our acute hospitals….”we know that 1,500 beds have been taken out of the system and the elderly population over 65 has increased by 33% since 2008.  We don’t need to await the outcome of a capacity review to tell us that beds need to be replaced but there is no attempt in this budget to even begin to address this need.”

The IMO also said that the so called political consensus around the SlainteCare has failed to translate into any meaningful investment and as we warned at time of publication it is clear that politicians are high on aspirations in terms of our health services but failing miserably in terms of funding; “we face into another 12 months of inadequate funding, worsening patient experiences in terms of waiting lists and cancellations of procedures and no move to deliver more services in the GP Setting.  We are reinforcing an environment that will encourage doctors to emigrate to systems where health is valued, taken seriously and resourced appropriately. There is no doubt that our politicians must protect the economy however it is reckless in the extreme to put the health of the nation at risk in this way.  Investment in health services is a good thing not a burden.”


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