4 October 2007 Edition

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Ahern, Harney cannot hide behind HSE

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern and Health Minister Mary Harney must bear full responsibility for the cuts being imposed by the 26-County Health Service Executive, Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said.
“The decision of the HSE to continue its recruitment freeze in the health services is disgraceful and the health service unions are fully justified in now contemplating protest action. The false claims by Health Minister Harney and HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm that the cuts will not affect patient care are being fully exposed with hospitals around the State having to curtail services.
“Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has remained silent on these cuts while both he and Health Minister Harney attempt to hide behind the HSE. But they cannot shirk their responsibility for these totally unnecessary cuts. With a vibrant economy for the past decade and a HSE which they claim has streamlined the running of the health services, the Government is still presiding over fundamentally flawed policies and gross mismanagement, leading to poorer health outcomes for public patients.”
The Sinn Féin TD said that the health service unions deserve public support in their efforts to resist these cuts.

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