Government must stop penny pinching when it comes to public health
People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, has called the government to extend the flu vaccine, for free, to all medical card holders and, indeed, everyone in the country.
The TD said that the Government’s failure to provide flu vaccinations to all medical card holders was “extremely short-sighted and objectionable”. In response to a People Before Profit parliamentary question, the Minister for Health said that the flu vaccine is only free to medical card holders who are considered “at-risk”.
“I cannot understand why the Government has made the decision not to extend free flu jabs to all medical card holders, and in fact, the entire population given the current Covid-19 surge that has put crippling pressure on hospitals and GP surgeries throughout the country. It is a further indication of their lack of proactive action in dealing with the pandemic and identifying ways to better look after the health of the public and relieve some of the pressure that the health service is currently experiencing. Instead, they seem to spend time looking for opportunities to cut corners and costs when it comes to the health and well-being of the population. Last year, many pharmacists called for flu vaccines to be made free of charge to encourage as high an uptake as possible but the Government have disgracefully continued to ignore these calls in the middle of a public health crisis.”
“I will be rising this as a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and will be strongly urging the Government to stop penny pinching when it comes to the health of the nation.”