Press Release

Statement from Mr Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children

I wish to emphasise that in the context of the non-filling of 800 posts already announced in July, some 85 of such posts were assigned to the Western Health Board. The value of such posts is €1.15million in 2002 based on current salary rates. The figure of 200 posts mentioned by the WHB will require explaining to my Department. I have asked the Department to meet the Western Health Board to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency.

In 2002 the additional funding provided by the government to the health services was some €1 billion or 16%. The Western Health Board funding on 2002 increased by some €115 million or 15 – 16%. The savings now required at €1.15 million is extremely small (less than 1%), given the overall funding available to the board at €630 million this year.

A board must manage within its overall funding and my Department is working with the health boards and monitoring progress. Our ability to manage within the resources approved by Government is vital to secure further investment for service development.