Frontline services hit by €750m health cuts
THE plan setting out health spending and services for 2012 will contain a massive €750m in cuts, writes Eilish O'Regan.
Health Minister James Reilly yesterday warned that frontline services would inevitably suffer.
He told the Dail he would sign off on the plan, drawn up by the HSE on Friday after rejecting the original draft last week.
The minister has since met with HSE officials and said that cuts in funding should not necessarily mean an equivalent reduction in services.
It was originally believed that the cuts would amount to €868m but this has now been reduced due to decreases in superannuation costs arising from the number of health staff who are retiring. But hospitals and other community services will not escape cuts.
The minister insisted it should also be possible to introduce more efficiencies to reduce the impact of cuts.