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 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2014: Message from Select Sub-Committee
 Header Item Health Services: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 828 No. 2

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Estimates for Public Services 2014: Message from Select Sub-Committee

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt The Select Sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform has completed its consideration of the following Revised Estimate for the Public Service for the year ending 31 December 2014: Vote 13 - Office of Public Works.

Health Services: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

  The following motion was moved by Deputy Billy Kelleher on Tuesday, 28 January 2014:

That Dáil Éireann agrees that the 2014 national service plan of the Health Service Executive is inadequate to meet fully all of the growing demands being placed on the health services and that the lack of sufficient resources will not be in the best interests of patient care and this is already evident in accident and emergency departments.

  Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:
"agrees that the 2014 national service plan provides a comprehensive basis for the Health Service Executive, HSE, to continue to deliver safe and high quality health and social care services to the general public throughout the year;

notes that the overriding priority reflected throughout the 2014 national service plan, at a time of undoubted financial constraint, is the commitment to patient safety;

notes that the HSE has set the advancement and implementation of the Government's programme of health reform at the centre of its service planning for 2014; and

notes, in particular, the progress that has been made in reducing the waiting times for patients on trolleys in emergency departments, with a reduction of 8,814 in the year to 27 December 2013, down 34% from 2011."

- (Minister for Health)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt The next slot is shared by Deputies Wallace, Maureen O'Sullivan, Healy and Clare Daly. The Deputies have two and a half minutes each. Obviously, we will make up the time at the end.

Deputy Mick Wallace: Information on Mick Wallace Zoom on Mick Wallace The Euro Health Consumer Index 2013 ranks Ireland in 14th place and it looks like we are still falling. The Government was elected to office on promises of free general practitioner care for all and universal health insurance. In reality, the Government has cut services and increased health care costs for the public year on year. This year, 35,000 people over the age of 70 years will lose their medical cards due to tougher eligibility rules. They will instead receive GP cards, thereby removing their claim to free medication and public hospital beds while doing away with the exemption from accident and emergency department charges.

The Government's failure in the health service manifests itself most starkly in the number of people on waiting lists. Last September, more than 49,000 people were on hospital waiting lists compared with more than 41,000 in September 2012. Even though the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, accelerated upgrades at Wexford General Hospital at the behest of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, the situation there continues to worsen. Some 280 adults and children were waiting for inpatient and day case appointments at the hospital at the end of September, an increase of 102 on the same period in 2012.


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