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Financial Resolutions 2019

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Budget Statement 2019

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Financial Resolutions 2019\Budget Statement 2019

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Budget Statement 2019

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Snippet Contents:

There is no reference in the budget speech to bed capacity, specifically to the delivery of 2,600 beds and in that the delivery of intensive care unit, ICU, beds. The lack of ICU beds in the Irish hospital system is inhibiting the rolling out of scoliosis treatment, for example, as the theatres and doctors are available but there are no ICU beds to allow the children to be cared for after surgery. We must expand our capacity in acute hospitals and particularly ICU beds. We must also expand our capacity in community beds, and again there is no reference to how those 4,500 community beds are to be delivered.
The National Treatment Purchase Fund will not fully address the issues facing our dysfunctional health service. Money going into the National Treatment Purchase Fund is important but it is not addressing the fundamental matters of waiting lists or specifically the wait for elective care, which now stands at 74,000. It blunts the matter but it does not address the fundamental problem.
Our health service is locked into its current state for at least the next three years. The lack of urgency in reforming the health service is staggering. In our area in the mid west, the University of Limerick hospitals group has the largest trolley count number in the country, and every day it has between 40 and 60 patients on that list. There is no recognition of the difficulties the reconfiguration in 2008 caused to the mid west and the people in the region will face the same problems they faced this year next year and for two subsequent years.
I will speak to some matters relating to the sustainability of rural Ireland. Although these may not relate specifically to the budget, they are pertinent to the Government policies delivered over the past year. In particular, I refer to the closure of rural post offices. The closure of a post office brings into question the financial sustainability of a community that loses it. There is no question about that, and people in those communities feel they have been abandoned and they are not being valued by this Government.