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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

'Doctors are leaving the country and patient safety is being compromised'

The IMO says that health cuts cannot continue.

Image: Doctors

THE HEAD OF the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) says that patient safety is being put at risk by ongoing cuts to the health budget.

IMO President Professor Trevor Duffy says that successive years of cuts have made doctors leave the country.

In its pre-budget submission, the IMO points out that the health budget has been cut by €4 billion since 2008 which they claim means:

  • Staffing levels are down 12,200
  • Bed numbers are down by 900
  • Patients are being levied over €450 million in out of pocket payments
  • The proportion of spending on health in Ireland was now the lowest of the traditional 15 EU states

The proposal goes on to suggest an increase in funding, a commitment that cost cutting will not impact patients and an abandonment of any co-pay models, such as prescription charges.

Professor Duffy said that every section of the service was now “crying out for attention”.

He said “our doctors are leaving the country out of frustration and that’s now as true of established GPs and Consultants as it is of doctors at the early stage of their career.

“We need to decide now if we want to be part of a society that provides a health system which can offer the people of this country the kind of world-class care that they expect or if we are going to settle for a fractured service that is detrimental to the long term health of our nation”

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