“Today’s wishy-washy report is yet further proof that the Fine Gael government is not remotely committed to delivering  to Irish people the kind of universal public health service which this country has lacked for so long..”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has blasted the government’s Sláintecare Action Plan as deeply underwhelming at a time of unprecedented crisis in our health service.

Deputy Shortall, who chaired the cross-party Oireachtas Committee which produced the original Sláintecare roadmap in May 2017, said:

“It’s been almost two years since the detailed and costed Sláintecare report was produced based on unprecedented political co-operation – yet today we have another report on a report on a report, but still no proper budget.

“This plan is deeply underwhelming and fails to live up to the ambition in Sláintecare for radical reform of our broken health system. It is particularly disappointing  that the plan kicks to touch on Sláintecare’s core vision for a universal single-tier health and social care system where everyone has equitable access to services based on need, and not ability to pay.

“Today’s wishy-washy report is yet further proof that the Fine Gael government is not remotely committed to delivering  to Irish people the kind of universal public health service which this country has lacked for so long.

“It takes a special kind of brass neck for the government to produce a plan like this at a time of heightened crisis in our health system, when almost 600,000 people are waiting to see a specialist and nursing staff are in revolt over pay and conditions including severe problems with recruitment and retention of key hospital staff.”

ENDS

13th March 2019