Thursday, 26 June 2014
Does the Minister accept that while the members of the Economic Management Council to whom he refers and who he says possess a level of expertise may have had some exposure to the Department of Health, it is clear that they got it very badly wrong? Does he also accept that, against the backdrop of overruns within the Department, incredible pressure on the system and rising demand, it was ill-conceived to suggest - much less impose - cuts of the order of €666 million? The facts reflect that we are facing into another Supplementary health Estimate of the magnitude of €500 million. Will the Minister confirm that is the case? I asked him a straight question, namely, whether he would admit or accept that the decisions relating to the delivery of health services made in the context of the most recent budget were wrong. I then asked him to give a commitment that there would be no further cuts to the health budget this year or in the budget for 2015. Will he provide a slightly more comprehensive answer? Does he accept that the Government got it wrong and will he give a commitment that there will be no further cuts?