Press Release

With extra £718 million, Health to go over £5 Billion for first time

2001 will be £2.6 Billion Higher than 1996

The largest ever increase in Health spending was announced today as part of the Government’s overall spending plans for next year. Minister Micheal Martin stated that the £718 million increase underlined the Government’s commitment to developing and modernising Ireland’s health services. Amounting to an almost 17% increase over this year’s figure, the new funding will allow for a range of significant improvements including the creation of about 3,000 new jobs.

The spending figure for next year will be over £2600 million higher than provided in 1996 by the last Government.

The Minister explained that a range of improvements concerning key health professionals are provided for in the new spending Estimates. Amongst these are £80 million to improve the working conditions and training for Junior Hospital Doctors. £21 million has also been provided for the implementation of improvements for home helps throughout the country.

In relation to the nursing profession, the Estimates provide an additional £12 million for the continued implementation of the core recommendations of the Commission on Nursing .

In relation to Acute Hospital Services, additional funding includes:

  • £12. Million targeted at specialties such as Cardiology, Oncology/Haemothology, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and ENT
  • £5 million cancer prevention and treatment
  • £10 million new acute hospital units
  • £10 million for the recently announced doubling of A&E consultant posts and additional anaesthetists.

Services for older people will benefit from an additional £16 million. £22 million extra will go towards disability services.

In relation to the care of vulnerable children, an additional £15.5 million is being provided, to include £1.5 million targeted at youth homelessness.

The Minister also said that £285 million will be provided for capital projects, will enable a range of major hospital developments to proceed. “Overall” the Minister said “These spending plans will allow us to implement a wide range of improvements across the health system. The largest increase in the history of the Irish health system once again demonstrates that this Government is fully committed to modernising and developing the quality of Ireland’s health services.”