Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that deep dysfunction at the highest level of Government will harm patients and staff in the coming year.
This follows a meeting with the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr David Moloney, at the Finance Committee.
Teachta Doherty said:
“The decision by the Government to underfund the health service will cause significant harm to patients and staff in the coming year.
“We are already seeing the effects of this decision, with the HSE imposing an unprecedented recruitment embargo which will include entire grades across the health system.
“In yesterday’s meeting, I asked the Secretary General why the decision was made to underfund the health service despite the serious risks it posed to patients and to care.
“He was right to say that this was ultimately a decision for Minister Donohoe and the Government.
“Despite warnings from the HSE and the Department of Health that the Budget will massively underfund the health service next year, Minister Donohoe drove through a health budget that will harm patients and staff.
“Mr Moloney claimed that he had not seen correspondence from the Minister for Health to Minister Donohoe which included warnings from the CEO of the HSE that the budget posed significant and punitive risks to the public.
“Or that he discussed its contents with Minister Donohoe.
“Responding to claims made by the CSO of the HSE that health inflation was running at between 17 and 20 percent, Mr. Moloney said there was no reason to believe this was the case.
“Yesterday’s meeting made clear that there is huge dysfunction at the heart of Government when it comes to the funding of our health service.
“The Health Budget, like the Service Plan to follow it, will be a work of fiction, with damaging consequences for the public.
“This Government cannot be trusted with our health service.”