Press Release

Statement from Minister Micheál Martin – Labour Party claims in relation to the Government´s policy on health

Minister for Health and Children Micheál Martin TD today dismissed Labour Party claims in relation to the Government’s policy on health.

“The Government is committed to early and decisive action on the reform agenda. The Department of Health and the Department of Finance have been working over the last number of weeks on a joint proposal for Government, based on the Brennan Report and the Prospectus Report. The Reports and the framework for reform will be published before the Dáil recess on July 3rd. Work is continuing on the National Taskforce on Medical Staffing and this will too be published as soon as it is considered by the Government”, Minister Martin said.

The Minister again re emphasised the enormity of the task ahead- “there are no ´quick fixes´ for the kinds of changes we envisage undertaking.” He also looks forward to a debate on the reforms.

“The health service is now treating more people than ever before- 180,000 more people were treated in 2002 than in 1997. The quality of healthcare is far better today than ever before, particularly in key areas like heart disease, cancer care and other specialities. Waiting lists in key areas such as cardiac surgery, gynaecology are dramatically down and waiting times are being significantly reduced”, Minister Martin said.

The Labour Party´s election manifesto in Health was un-costed, lacked specifics and the Party itself knew it could not be implemented in the lifetime of any Government.