Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has today launched Sinn Féin’s €1.4bn Alternative Budget for Health 2022 ‘For a Health Service That Works’.
Teachta Cullinane outlined a €1.4bn package of measures across primary, community, and acute healthcare, including targeted packages for mental health, disability, older people, and addiction and recovery.
This includes 828 new-build public beds, 6,500 staff, universal counselling on GP referral, and €120m for implementing two key pillars of Sláintecare – removing private healthcare from public hospitals and expanding free GP care.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Waiting lists have spiralled out of control and the health service is not fit for purpose.
“The health service was in crisis before the pandemic, which exposed a broken system and worsened pre-existing problems.
“Patients are unable to access care and the health service does not work for them or for staff.
“Healthcare workers across the board are saying the same thing – they are not supported to deliver quality and timely healthcare to those in need.
“Today, I am launching our Alternative Budget for Health 2022, which sets out the first steps for making healthcare accessible and affordable.
“That includes €679m for boosting hospital capacity and tackling waiting lists, and €109m for reducing the cost of care and medicines for workers and families.
“It is essential that safe staffing levels, proactive workforce planning, and occupational wellbeing supports are implemented as part of this.
“We also propose a series of measures including €198m for primary and community service, €114m for mental health, €112m for disability services, and €46m for addiction and recovery.
“I also set out investment of €106m in health strategies, including €60m for the Maternity strategy for major investment.
“We are also proposing €42m for cancer services, and €10m to kickstart a new Cardiovascular Health Strategy.
“A major investment in eHealth and IT modernisation was promised in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, and this must be delivered.
“In spending this allocation, as Minister for Health I would prioritise individual patient health identifiers, a centralised referral system, and an integrated waiting list management system.
”This morning Sinn Féin held a webinar with the healthcare sector, to discuss our proposals with those most affected. More than 80 groups took part in the discussion and I want to thank them for taking the time to engage with us on these measures.
“Without these measures, the health service will continue to fail in managing waiting lists and providing accessible, affordable, and timely care.”