Marcella: Health budget helps those who need it most in Offaly
Offaly Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has said that the funding allocated to our Health service in Budget 2018 will "ensure better access to services and more help for families in Offaly."
“Fine Gael has used our recovery to reform how health services are delivered in Ireland," she said.
“Our health services employ dedicated and highly skilled professionals here in Offaly, but needs more investment and reform – more healthcare staff, more empowered local management, more investment in technology and a decisive shift towards care outside of hospitals and in the community."
Marcella insisted that, “Budget 2018 will mean additional frontline staff for the health service, across the acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors. The increase in nursing numbers will be realised as we continue to extend and roll out the Taskforce on Safe Staffing."
“By improving access to treatment we’re going make sure that our health service is better for everyone. This increase in our health budget allows the health service to plan for the challenge of increasing demand from a growing and ageing population."
“The reduction in prescription charges for all medical card holders under 70 from €2.50 per item to €2 per item with a subsequent reduction in the monthly cap from €25 to €20 is a positive step in the right direction," she claimed.
“I was very pleased with the additional €646 million being allocated to Health in Budget 2018, bringing the overall Health budget for 2018 to almost €15.3 billion."
"This will include an additional €40 million fund to prepare for and manage the expected peak in demand for our health services over the winter period, which will help ease the burden in the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore," Corcoran Kennedy stated.
“We are focused on developing an enhanced primary care system, and guaranteeing the future sustainability of GP practices in rural Ireland and in disadvantaged urban areas."
She went on to say that the Government is determined to reduce waiting times for parents and to improve access to the health services. Budget 2018 will increase investment in the NTPF from its original allocation of €20m in 2017 to €55m in 2018. "
This significant increase in funding will mean that over 18,000 additional procedures will be offered to patients next year across a range of specialties and procedures," Marcella told us.
“Additional funding of €10m will be provided in 2017 to fund further NTPF initiatives and HSE insourcing initiatives in order to continue the strong focus on reducing waiting times for hospital procedures this year. This will ensure that more patients are seen in our hospitals and fewer patients have to bear the burden of long waiting times. Funding for the reduction in waiting times for paediatric orthopaedic services and treatments for scoliosis is also being provided, building on progress which is underway."
“Fine Gael is committed to delivering a strong and efficient publicly funded health service. It is only a strong economy that will provide our country with the foundation needed for better health services," the Offaly deputy concluded.
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