Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Health Marc MacSharry has hit out at the Minister for Health and the Taoiseach for withholding vital information about the extent of financial crisis in the health service.
The Sligo Senator was reacting to revelations in the Irish Times that the Government ignored repeated warnings from HSE Chief Executive Cathal Magee about the budget crisis in the health service.
“This confirms that the Government knew as far back as early March that the estimates it had prepared for the health service this year could not be achieved. Yet when my colleagues and I raised concerns on several occasions about the health budget, we were fobbed off by both the Taoiseach and the Health Minister.
“It is now abundantly clear that Minister Reilly and the Taoiseach have misled the public about the extent of the health budget crisis since the beginning of this year. They ignored increasingly stark warnings from the former HSE boss Cathal Magee since the beginning of March right up until his resignation last month. Mr Magee expressed serious concerns about the HSE’s ability to meet patient needs in the context of the escalating budget crisis. But the Health Minister just ignored all of this and ploughed ahead with his deeply misguided and dangerous policies.
“Despite all the talk we have heard from this Government about transparency, the true extent of the health crisis has only come to light under the Freedom of Information Act. Meanwhile patients across the country are being forced to suffer severe cuts to their local health services. This secretive and dishonesty can now longer be tolerated from Minister Reilly,” he said.