29/05/2008

Gilmore Says "Get it sorted out" On Cowen’s Health Service

The Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has lambasted the Taoiseach's "immovable stance" on the job losses at a Dublin children's hospital.

The Mr Gilmore claimed in the Daíl on Wednesday that the loss of 100 jobs at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin would affect patient care and sick children would be denied the treatment they need.

He said that it is now impossible to pick up a newspaper or listen to a news bulletin without hearing about another crisis in our health service.

"Last week we had the stories of the failures of the x-ray services in the North East, last Monday night there was a Prime Time Investigates programme which showed the dilapidation of our health service," he said.

He added: "Today we learn that our Lady's Hospital for children in Crumlin that 100 jobs are to be cut in that hospital. These are mainly agency and temporary workers taken on by the hospital because of the recruitment embargo. You cannot take 100 staff out of a hospital without affecting patient services."

However, Mr Cowen stood steadfast on the issue saying the job losses were necessary for the hospital to manage its budget and for its services to improve.

Mr Cowen insisted hospitals were to operate within their allocated budgets, adding the Crumlin hospital had an overspend of €10m in 2007 with a projected over-shoot of €14m in 2008.

The Taoiseach further said there had been a 40% increase in funding for the hospital over the past four years.

Mr Gilmore hit back saying the job losses show the "failure of the HSE to manage the health service properly," and that cutbacks should not be made in areas affecting vulnerable sectors of society like children.

(DW)


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