Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has said that the decision by the HSE to slash the health service budgets for 2010 in Mayo by €28m will impact on every single family in Mayo at some stage this year. Deputy O’Mahony was speaking in the aftermath of the news that the hospital and community services budgets have been dramatically slashed by the HSE.
“This year the actual budget for Mayo General Hospital is €77 million compared to €87.5 million last year. The bad news doesn’t end there, though, and the community services budget has been cut from €176 million in 2009 to €157 million for this year. Combined, that’s a decrease in the region of €28m which is quite unbelievable.”
Dep O’Mahony said the budget cuts for this year made a mockery of Government policy to make the health service much more community based. “They haven’t announced it publicly but obviously the Government has made a U-turn on a community based health system. What other way can we be expected to view this? The budget for the community services in Mayo has been slashed by €18m and that is going to impact on every facet of health services in the county and the community.
“Within Mayo General hospital itself there is a decrease in the budget of €10m. The hospital is already stretched to the limit and this is simply going to make a difficult situation even worse and put local management in an impossible situation. I have also learned that funding for UHG has been cut by €50 million which has knock on effects for patients from Mayo,” he said.
Dep O’Mahony said when one considers the imminent threat of bed closures at Belmullet District Hospital two things need to happen immediately. First the Minister for Health should consider her position if the Government are not funding their stated policy and second, our Government representatives Minister Calleary and Dep Flynn must use their influence with the Minister and stand up for the people of Mayo on this occasion.