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The Minister for Health Simon Harris gave extra detail about the allocation today when he launched the Fund’s Strategy for 2017-2019.
“Reducing waiting times for our longest waiting patients is one of the Government’s priorities and it is for this reason that €20 million was allocated to the NTPF in the Budget 2017, rising to €50 million in 2018,” said Minister Harris.
However the IMO has sharply criticised the announcement.
“Health finance is a zero-sum game. If the Minister gives money to private hospitals, he is doing so at the expense of public hospitals,” said IMO President Dr John Duddy.
“That might help the Government massage waiting list figures in the short term but it simply adds to the difficulty of sorting out our public hospitals in the medium to long term.
“Successive Ministers have used the NTPF as a tool to massage figures and give the impression of action.
“The reality is that it reflects a mindset which puts public hospitals behind private hospitals in the queue for scarce resources and ultimately only increases the difficulties facing every on the public health service.”