Cuts Hit Patients’ Frontline Services, Claims HSE

Cathal-MageeIt has been revealed in a latest report that the reduction in health spending this year would highly affect the frontline services for patients, claims Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive, Mr. Cathal Magee.

It is being believed that service plan for the year would result in cuts to the mental health and disability services. The reduction by €750 million in health spending would also result in closing of acute hospital beds and public nursing home beds. However, it is too early for the closures to be predicted.

Also, as compared to services that were provided for older people in 2011, home help hours will be provided to more than 600 fewer people. Along with this, there will be a cut of 4.5 percent in the home help hours provided nationwide this time. It was revealed by the HSE that mental health services would face a budget cut of 1 per cent only nevertheless. Mental health services would need €35 million investments to recruit new staff aiming at improving adolescent, adult community teams and suicide prevention and counselling services as well.

Mr. Magee assumed that more than 3,300 staff would decide to leave the organization in the year and this huge level in resource reduction would affect the delivery system. Further, cuts in hospital activity would also lead to hitting the elective or non-urgent care, say reports.

Thus, mitigation measure had been found by the HSE to reduce the effects of the cuts by putting new measures of efficiency in place of the old ones as well as bringing work practice changes.

"2012 will be a very challenging year for the health services. In the last two years, reductions in health expenditure have been achieved largely through a combination of procurement efficiencies, successive drug price reductions and staff costs”, said Mr. Magee.