[Sinn Fein]

26 November 2001

Government Health Strategy retains two-tier system

Commenting on the Government's Health Strategy Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``This Health Strategy retains the two-tier public/private system which is at the root of so many of the problems in our healthcare services. Instead of presenting a strategy for equality the government plans to use the two-tier system as the basis for the health services in the next decade. The government has bought the PDs' pre-election gimmick on waiting lists. This will involve further public funding going into the private system and public patients being sent abroad while we still have private beds in public hospitals.

``It has taken the FF/PD government four and half years to come up with this strategy. It is a major document and there are many positive elements. But it is too late in the life of this administration which has squandered in tax cuts for the wealthy the funding needed to resource and reform the health services. Sinn Fein will continue to campaign for our vision of an Irish National Health Service with all citizens entitled to free care and an end to the two-tier system.''

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