Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today reacted to the news that the HSE is to seek further cuts of €90 million in the Mid-West area At a meeting with unions today the HSE is expected to outline ways savings can be made. Deputy Carey said health services in the region are already stripped back to breaking point.

“HSE policy in the Midwest is now one of cut, cut, cut. There is little cohesion. The figures announced today say there is an overspend of €90 million for the running of the health service for this year. Yet if that is what it costs to deliver barely adequate frontline services, then it is not an overspend. It is to my mind an already stretched budget that needs to be increased.

We are tols that primary care and community packages had an overspend of over €6 million. Yet when the HSE decided to strip hospital beds and services in the region it did so promising more primary and community care funding. Now they are reneging on those commitments.”

“These figures also raise serious question marks over funding for the long awaited capital works programme at Ennis General Hospital. We need a clear and unambiguous statement on this funding and when the works will begin.

Already frontline services in the MidWest are under severe strain. There is a premium on geriatric beds in the region. Waiting lists of almost a year are on place for speech and language treatment. Staff shortages and embargos mean that state of the art scanning machines lie idle.

And now we hear there are to be further cuts. This from the same government that continues to prop up its developer friends in Anglo Irish Bank.

The population of the Mid West needs to take a stand on this. We need to send a clear message to government that our health is not a commodity which can be imposed on an a la carte fashion.”