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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 20 April, 2014

HSE Service Plan will target €25 million in medical card probity – not €113 million

The Taoiseach confirmed to the Dáil this evening that the document would be published, following discussions at Cabinet today.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 6.20pm

THE TAOISEACH HAS confirmed that the HSE Service Plan for 2014 has been finalised and will be published tomorrow.

The plan will see €25 million targeted in savings from medical card probity, and not the €113 million that was contained in the Budget in October, a government spokesperson confirmed this evening.

The reduction in the amount of money being targeted through medical card probity will be accounted for through savings of €47 million in the Department of Social Protection as a result in the drop in unemployment with the balance achieved through savings in pay and pensions.

Reports this evening indicate that a total of €619 million in savings will be targeted in the HSE’s plan and not the €666 million that was originally targeted.

The plan was discussed by Cabinet Ministers at their weekly meeting earlier today, Enda Kenny told the Dáíl as he took questions regarding his own Department this evening.

He was responding to a question by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who said he hoped the Government would allow some time for debate on the document before the Dáíl broke for the Christmas break.

The plan will show how the HSE expects to spend its budget, and implement savings over the course of the next year.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson, accused the government of ‘spinning’ the HSE’s spending plans, saying: “This is clearly an attempt at news management before anyone outside Government gets to see the Plan in advance of its publication tomorrow.

- additional reporting Hugh O’Connell

First published 5.06pm

Read: HSE bailout of €199 million is a “considerable achievement” – Reilly

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