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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

HSE chief to face questions over health spending

Cathal Magee will appear before an Oireachtas committee today – with questions likely to focus on nursing home care.

Cathal Magee will answer questions from TDs and senators
Cathal Magee will answer questions from TDs and senators
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the HSE will appear before an Oireachtas committee today to face questions on whether the service is delivering value for money.

Cathal Magee will answer questions from TDs and senators on the Public Accounts Committee. They are expected to focus especially on concerns about the Fair Deal scheme to fund nursing home care, and the roll-out of Primary Care Teams involving GPs.

Committee chair John McGuinness TD said he understood numerous GPs in the north-east had withdrawn from the PCT scheme because they were dissatisfied with it.

“I have a concern that these Primary Care Teams are not working as intended,” he said. “The major problem is in getting GPs to come on board. In addition, some of these teams do not have the full complement of staff such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists attached to them.”

In a statement, the committee said the PCT system – designed to bring different specialists together to care for patients – had “lagged behind schedule” in its implementation.

The committee will also quiz Magee on the “prohibitive” high cost of public nursing home care compared to its private equivalent, McGuinness said.

“Under Fair deal, the private sector is delivering the care and the cost of care in public facilities is prohibitive. We will want to establish how best value can be delivered.”

The meeting will begin at 10am.

More: Health minister says frontline services will be hit by budget cuts>

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Michael Freeman

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