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18 October 2007 Edition

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Government presiding over collapse of public health services

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that the Government is presiding over the collapse of services to public patients in the health system.
“Because of the gross mismanagement of our health services by the Fianna Fáil/PD/Green Government and the Health Services Executive (HSE), eligible people are not receiving health and social services to which they are entitled”, he said.
Outlining the current malaise Ó Caoláin pointed out that:
  • Medical card patients are threatened with a pullout by pharmacists from the General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme.
  • The Drugs Payment Scheme is also under threat, causing major rises in the costs of medicines to customers.
  • The methadone maintenance programme is collapsing, also as a result of the dispute between pharmacists and the HSE.
  • Dentists have already withdrawn from the Dental Treatment Services Scheme, leaving medical card patients without treatment.
  • The HSE cuts are continuing to hit hard with the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire unable to admit patients. Many people, who require rehabilitation, including serious accident victims, are being denied treatment as a result.
“This is a shambles and medical card patients are worst affected. It seems that the Government, with a comfortable majority in the wake of the General Election, feels it can safely ignore the suffering of health service users”, the Cavan/Monaghan TD said.
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