Deputy Boyd Barrett says: “truly appalling and unacceptable” to have two-tier health facilitated in flagship children’s hospital
In a new twist in the National Children’s Hospital debacle today, the Minister for Health has confirmed to Deputy Boyd Barrett that the publicly funded hospital will contain a wing for private patients.
The private section of the hospital will have 8 consultation rooms, a play area and a feeding room as well as a reception and waiting area.
This comes at a time when the government has signed up to pursuing a plan for single tier health care across the country in its SlainteCare Plan.
The PQ reply states that the “new children’s hospital is obliged to provide such facilities for consultants” who hold the public/private 2008 contracts.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “It is truly appalling and unacceptable that, while the government has ostensibly signed up to a one tier health service with SláinteCare, the new flagship National Children’s Hospital, paid for with over €1.7 billion of public funds, will not only facilitate, but will protect into the future, a two tier system of healthcare.
“I am not sure why more is not being made of the plan to have a private wing in the National Children’s Hospital. A health service that depends on the size of your wallet is despicable on every level, but for children it is even more outrageous.
“The 2008 contracts for consultants, negotiated by the Fianna Fail/Green government, institutionalised the practice of HSE consultants doing private practice. These should never have been allowed and if this government was serious about its commitment to SlainteCare and a single-tier health service, it would have created a precedent by insisting that consultants who wanted to be part of this new state of the art children’s hospital, would need to commit to a public only contract.”