Vast sums going to private hospitals with no lasting return for public system
People Before Profit TD and health spokesperson Gino Kenny, following today’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health, has said that there is now an urgent need for extra permanent capacity in the public system.
TD pointed out that there will be a secondment of some health capacity from the private hospitals to deal with surge capacity in the current Covid wave but that this capacity would have no long-lasting return for the public system. He noted that there would be huge sums of money going to private hospitals but that this extra capacity would only be temporary and there would be no lasting additional capacity in the public health system.
He said: “With 26% of the Winter Plan funding also going to private hospitals to secure temporary surge capacity we can see that, whilst extra capacity now is needed urgently, there is no long-term value in this for the public system and for the taxpayer.
“We should remember that even before Covid we were experiencing massive capacity issues and an annual trolley crisis. We cannot allow this to continue. What is needed is for the government to take over and nationalise private sector capacity so that we can deal with any future surges, but also so that we can move to a fully public, single tier healthcare system. This has to be the goal.”