South Tipperary General Hospital will face a further €1.7m cut this year, under health minister James Reilly’s recently approved cuts to the national health service budget, according to Independent South Tipperary TD Seamus Healy.
Cuts of €619m have been made, and more than 2,000 jobs will be lost in the health service this year, according to Deputy Healy.
“This is on top of €3bn in cuts and the reduction of 11,000 jobs over the last few years. These cuts have devastated the health service, closed beds, put more people on trolleys and took medical cards from sick and elderly people.
“More pressure will be heaped on South Tipperary General Hospital, having already lost one quarter of its budget and upwards of 200 staff over recent years.”
Deputy Healy is calling for these cuts to be reversed.
“Staff at the hospital are working above and beyond the call of duty every hour of every day. The hospital service across the Country is at breaking point.
“The public are entitled to a quality health service, delivered in modern surroundings and not in third world conditions on trolleys in hospital corridors.
According to Deputy Healy, medical card holders are also bracing themselves for the withdrawal of thousands of Medical Cards this year. “Persons with severe medical conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease who require on-going medical treatment are having their medical cards withdrawn and refused. Further cuts to income limits for the over 70s will see thousands lose their medical cards. Our health is our wealth. It is time for this Government to call a halt to the onslaught out health service.
He called on Tipperary ministers of state Alan Kelly and Tom Hayes to do everything they can to protect the hospital and medical card holders.