Meath East Senator Thomas Byrne has said frontline health services in the North East will suffer from a €6m budget cut being imposed on the Louth/Meath Hospital group.
Senator Byrne commented, "Contrary to government spin funding for the Louth/Meath hospital group has actually been severely cut this year. Figures from the HSE show that just over €189m was needed to fund Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady's in Navan and the Louth County hospital last year. That funding is being cut to €183m for 2013. Funding for Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown has also been cut by €3m, despite reports it was getting more money.
"The funding for the hospital group received a lot of attention this week when it emerged that the Louth/Meath hospital group getting an increased budget allocation of 14%, but this was based the projected budget for last year. We know the Minister for Health produced a false and misleading budget for the health service in 2012 and chose to cut frontline services to vulnerable people to cover for it.
"The HSE projected that €160m would be spent across the three hospitals last year but the true figure needed was €189m. Now, instead of meeting the needs of the hospital for 2013 Minister Reilly seems intent on repeating his mistake again and forcing hospital management to reduce frontline services.
"A €6m budget cut across the Louth/Meath hospitals is the last thing we need. Our local hospitals are already struggling to provide the services the public need, staff are under increased pressure and frontline services need to be protected in the North East."