May 29, 2023
Glacial pace HSE Capital Plan fails to enable rapid delivery of key projects – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has criticised the HSE Capital Plan for 2023 as lacking urgency and ambition.

The TD for Waterford said that the Minister for Health had failed to take the opportunity to outline a strategic multi-annual capacity plan for the health service and has instead promised the same glacial pace which has failed so far. 

The Capital Plan commits to delivering 261 additional and replacement acute beds during 2023 despite an existing deficit of 1,000 beds. These beds were previously announced as part of Budget 2021 but have yet to be delivered.

Deputy Cullinane added that the Government had failed to make the reforms which would enable rapid delivery of key projects.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The HSE Capital Plan for 2023 is woefully inadequate. It is seriously lacking the urgency and ambition that is needed to turn the health service around

“The Minister for Health has failed to take the opportunity to outline a multi-annual approach to capacity expansion. Instead, he has promised the same glacial pace progress which has failed the health service to date.

“The Capital Plan states that only 261 previously announced acute beds will be completed in 2023. The health service is currently short 1,000 beds and needs more than 300 a year just to keep pace with growing demand.

“With emergency department waits now up to 12 hours on average with children and people aged over 75 waiting longer than ever, this plan is seriously lacking in ambition and will not make the difference that is needed.

“The Government has failed to make the reforms to public spending, planning, and the capital approvals process which would enable rapid delivery of key projects. They have talked endlessly about this but have failed to speed up delivery of strategic infrastructure projects, whether in healthcare or housing.

“The Minister for Health has failed to secure multi-annual funding certainty to enable quicker delivery of projects and the development of a pipeline of capacity. The Capital Plan should set out how the HSE will address the deficit in beds and requirements in future years, but it fails to do so.

“The longer the HSE is without a proper multi-annual capacity plan, the worse the crisis in our hospitals will get. This Minister has failed to deliver where it counts. A change in approach is desperately needed.”

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