Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson David Cullinane has expressed disbelief at the Health Minister’s u-turn on the existence of private clinics in public hospitals.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“I am deeply concerned by the Health Minister’s u-turn on this important issue. Private clinics have no place in public hospitals, especially not our new National Children’s Hospital.
“There is no obligation on the state to facilitate private practice in public hospitals. The private practice aspect of consultant contracts can be facilitated outside of public hospitals.
“We have just experienced a major health crisis that laid bare the need for a fully functioning public healthcare system.
“Every single public resource must be used wholly and solely for the purpose of providing public healthcare, not for-profit healthcare.
“This undermines the very premise of Sláintecare. If we are to move to a universal, single tier public healthcare system, why are we building private healthcare into its future?
“I would seriously doubt Minister Donnelly’s commitment to Sláintecare if he allows this to go ahead, especially considering how he questioned this practice himself when in opposition.
“He must clarify this and tell us how he can reconcile this with his comments and commitments made before he was Minister.
“To continue the practice of facilitating private healthcare in the national children’s hospital is a step back and will only result in the flaws in our healthcare system continuing.”