9th December 2002
Ó Caoláin calls on Taoiseach to rein in Minister for Finance
Responding to reports of increasing tension between the Ministers for Finance and Health over funding and staffing levels for the health service, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Health and Children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Taoiseach to intervene to prevent the health service from falling into further disarray.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``I would ask the Taoiseach to step in immediately to resolve this dispute and defend the National Health Strategy. I am deeply concerned that Minister McCreevy is now taking it upon himself to make medical decisions and that public health is once again to be compromised by financial consideration.
``It is outrageous for the Department of Finance to suggest that anything less than the safest available products be used to treat haemophiliacs, many of whom are suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C infections contracted from unsafe blood products distributed by the BTSB in the 1980's. Once again the most vulnerable in society are being asked to bear the brunt of the economic downturn.
``The Taoiseach needs to take action to restore public confidence in an under-funded and over-stretched health service and ensure that adequate resources are made available to implement the National Health Strategy. It is the Taoiseach's overall responsibility to ensure that all his ministers deliver the services the public need and deserve.''
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