Business Budget 2018

Saturday 18 August 2018

'I'm worried health funding will vanish down a black hole'

Dr Michelle O’Connor says many mothers are concerned about childcare issues. Photo: Liam Burke
Dr Michelle O’Connor says many mothers are concerned about childcare issues. Photo: Liam Burke

Ryan O'Rourke

Dr Michelle O'Connor lives in the small Co Limerick town of Abbeyfeale with her husband and two young sons aged nine and five.

Dr O'Connor, who works as a general practitioner in the nearby town of Newcastle West, is glad to see more childcare support given to families that need it.

"It's absolutely necessary, I have so many young mothers coming in to me who are trying to decide whether it's even worthwhile going back to work because of the cost of childcare.

"I have several young mothers who opt to stay at home and try to survive off one not-so-large wage."

Before the Budget, Dr O'Connor spoke about her fears that we would see major tax cuts. She feared that our economy would not be able to afford this, causing another bubble.

As part of the Budget, it was announced that an extra €633m would be spent on healthcare.

Dr O'Connor said: "I'm glad they have put money into health, but the way they've done it, it's going to have very little effect.

"I'm worried it is going to just disappear down a black hole in the healthcare system," she said.

She is dreading any future proposal of giving free GP cards to everyone under the age of 12 or under the age of 18.

"We are already completely and utterly melted from children under six. They are attending way more often now that it's free, and the capacity isn't there," she said.

Irish Independent

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