October 7, 2020
Sinn Féin launch ‘A Fresh Start for Health – Alternative Budget 2021’

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has proposed a series of measures aimed at addressing immediate capacity issues in the health service.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a decades long failure to build a public health system that has enough doctors, nurses and beds.

“Today I am launching our Alternative Budget 2021 Health measures which would build a stronger, fairer, and better health service.

“Dealing with the many crises facing our health service will require substantial public investment in capacity building, especially in critical care.

“That is why we have set out funding for 100 additional critical care beds next year and 50 additional critical care beds each year for the next 4 years. We also need at least 1100 more acute beds next year.

“I am also calling on the government to invest in mental health and cancer care, and we have set out clear measures – from kickstarting the national cancer strategy to providing free counselling on GP referral and 24/7 crisis intervention support.

“We must also reduce the cost of healthcare on workers, families, and older people. The drugs payment scheme threshold should be reduced to €100, prescription charges must be reduced further with a view towards abolishing them, and we must expand home help and dementia supports.

“There have been opportunities to do this over the last 10 years but Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have failed to address the shortfalls.

“This failure has left Ireland particularly exposed to the pandemic.

“We have to be ambitious and make improvements every year to deliver the change that people voted for in February.

“We need a fresh start for Health.”

Notes to editors:

1) A copy of the document is available to view as a PDF here:  Health Budget Proposals PDF

2)  The Health Disability budget of c. €2bn is expected to move to the Department of Children, Disability, Equality, and Integration, so disability measures are not included in our Health Alternative Budget this year.


Sinn Féin Alternative Budget 2021 Health Measures


Current Expenditure

 € 1,031.08

Deliver 1,100 additional hospital beds

 €    367.40

Deliver 100 additional ICU beds

€       82.30

Additional 2500 doctors, nurses, consultants, and allied health and social care professionals

€    150.00

Additional Funding for Testing & Tracing Service

€    150.00

Kickstart National Cancer Strategy

€       20.00

Additional funding for catch-up cancer diagnosis and screening

€       10.00

Repatriate CervicalCheck

€       12.00

Mental Health Support Package including free counselling and 24/7 crisis intervention

€       48.70

Top Up Winter Plan Home Support to deliver additional 6m hours

€       34.50

Resolve Consultant Pay Inequality

€       25.70

Invest in Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Addiction Recovery Supports

€         6.06

Additional Neuro Rehab Team

€         5.18

Expand Newborn Screening Services

€         1.00

Introduce medical cards for patients with a terminal illness

€       40.00

Invest in care for those with Dementia

€         2.60

Ombudsman for Older People

€         2.50

Further Reduce Prescription Charges by €0.5

€       37.00

Increase GP Trainee intake to 250

€         3.30

Ensure access to European Health Insurance Card for Six County citizens

€         5.00

Follow through on Budget 2020 commitment to reduce the Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold to €114

€       11.60

Reduce Drugs Payment Scheme Threshold to €100

€       16.24

Capital Expenditure (€M)

€    461.00

Deliver 1,100 additional hospital beds

 €    300.00

Deliver 100 additional ICU beds

€    125.00

Physical Capacity Expansion Cancer Services

€       10.00

Mental Health Support Package

€         6.00

Invest eHealth

€       20.00

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