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According to the spokesperson: “While we acknowledge the increase in the overall budget, we believe that this Budget is a missed opportunity in terms of really investing in reform in the health services. In particularly Sláintecare has been allocated such a small amount of funds, that no significant reform can take place. We are also disappointed that in relation to the recommendations of the Health Capacity Review, there is no funding to improve and increase capacity in acute hospital beds in the coming year. It is not sustainable to continue to increase spending on private services through the NTPF while at the same time starving public health services of vital funds.”
The spokesperson continued: “In relation to general practice, it is difficult to see in the current environment how an additional 100,000 patients on GP Visit Cards can be safely managed in general practice given the extensive cuts of 38 per cent to resources for patient services through FEMPI and the fact that many GP lists are closed to new patients.
“Talks on new funding for general practice are due to commence tomorrow and the Government must, particularly in light of this announcement, have credible and sustainable proposals as to how general practice can cope with current workload let alone what will mean very significant additional workload.
“What this Budget means is that we are in stand still position in respect of delivery. Our health services will continue to struggle with rising demand, complexity of illness, long waiting lists while we cannot attract medical staff or have sufficient capacity in the system.”