Thursday, 27th November 2014
- HSE Service Plan 2015 shows how increased funding will benefit patients.
- Capital investment delivering services in Cork hospitals
Budget 2015 provided for increased funding for the health service; today we have seen how that extra money will benefit patients. This includes an extra €625 million as part of a two year plan to increase health funding in what is the first step in delivering a multi-annual funding approach.
There are many challenges facing the health service and the improved budgetary position will allow it to target its efforts at certain areas. The extra €25 million to address the issue of delayed discharges will benefit many patients and services. Not only will this help to free up acute hospital beds it will also enable people to access home care packages, long term care beds and intermediate care beds. Of this additional funding €10 million will go towards the Nursing Home Support Scheme, I hope that this will assist many of those families waiting on a place.
Disability services will also benefit from an additional €20 million. This will help to provide services for up to 1,400 young people who are due to leave school and rehabilitative training. Each year accessing funding as young people move from children’s services to adult services can be a challenge. By having extra funding available will help to ease the pressures on families and service providers.
Cork will benefit from some very significant capital investment. Hospitals across the city will see the money that has been invested deliver fully operational services in 2015. In Cork University Hospital a MRI and CT project as well as a 50 bed acute inpatient unit will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2015. Around the same time ophthalmology outpatient department will become fully operational at South Infirmary University Hospital. St. Finbarr’s and Mercy University Hospital will also see capital investment come online in 2015. Despite the false claims of Deputy Martin, there has been investment in health services in Cork.
Although additional funding has been provided for the health service, many challenges remain. The recruitment of more frontline staff, doctors, nurses and other professionals will be essential and the commitment by Minister Varadkar that this will happen is very welcome. But management will also have an important role to play over the next twelve months. It is important that every effort is made to operate the health service within the allocated budget.