[Sinn Fein]

10th October 2002

New Health Cuts highlight government as post-election promise breakers

Sinn Fein Councillor for Dublin Central, Nicky Kehoe has lashed out at Minister for Health, Micheál Martin, for slicing funding, for the refurbishment of Cabra Health Centre, in half. The governments pre-election promise to allocate ¤600,000 to carry out much needed work at the Quarry Road centre, which lies in the heart of the Taoiseach's own constituency, has been slashed to a paltry ¤300,000. New plans will now have to be drawn up.

Councillor Kehoe said:

``The Minister for Health's decision to slash funding for the Cabra Health Centre is a massive blow to people locally and a further indictment of the governments failure to provide a proper and equitable health service for this state.

``I am calling on the Minister for Health to immediately re-instate the ¤600,000 funding promised prior to the election. And Bertie Ahern needs to come and explain directly to his constituents what is going on.

``Since the election, we have witnessed an increase in the cost of medicines, higher fees for hospital visits and for VHI and a ¤15 million clawback in funding for the National Treatment Purchase Fund. This makes a mockery of the Government's Health Strategy which is now in tatters.''

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