Manifesto is thin on how to pay for pledges
THE Fine Gael manifesto champions a range of health causes -- including compensation schemes -- but contains nothing to indicate how much these would cost or how long they would take to implement.
The party has already made the introduction of universal healthcare insurance -- including free GP care within 10 years -- one of the cornerstones of its policy platform.
But yesterday it unveiled a range of measures which the outgoing Government claims are unaffordable.
Among Fine Gael's promises are a no-fault compensation scheme for children damaged at birth; €10m a year more to tackle suicide; and a new quango, the Patient Safety Authority.
When asked why no price tag or timetables were available, the party's health spokesman Dr James Reilly said: "I don't know how big the hole will be yet. If I get to keep the health budget, I will be able to implement -- through efficiencies and savings -- the plan that we have made out. We will give costings on health insurance on Sunday."